main idea: An idiot is a person who tries to be something they are not.

In “Dinner for Schmucks”, the setup is a man named Tim (played by Paul Rudd) who works for a financial firm and wants to move up in the company. He’s invited to a dinner where he’s to bring a guest. That guest needs to be an idiot for everyone else to laugh at. Tim ends up inviting Barry (played by Steve Carrell). Through a series of circumstances, Barry turns Tim’s life upsidedown both personally and professionally. As Tim goes through these experiences, he realizes that it isn’t Barry who’s the idiot, it’s him for not realizing that he was trying to be someone that he didn’t value nor did those who love him.

Grant it, the movie dragged at times, and in a couple of scenes I couldn’t stomach the stupid moves Barry did (whether he was trying to help rectify a situation or just out of sheer stupidity). But it does challenge with the question of whether you are being authentic to the values you claim to uphold. Because, if you are trying to be someone you’re not, maybe you really are an idiot.