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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Dinner For Schmucks
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Lakeshore Records
23 Tracks 43:09 mins

Released today as a digital download is Theodore Shapiro's score for the new Steve Carell comedy Dinner For Schmucks, directed by that man of many successful comedies, Jay Roach. Paul Rudd also stars as an up-and-coming executive who rises to his boss' challenge to bring the biggest buffoon he can find to the monthly "dinner for idiots." Enter Carell as an IRS employee who builds elaborate dioramas featuring stuffed mice.
Composer Shapiro denotes Carell's weird, yet lovable character with a combination of accordion, bass harmonica, ukulele, marimba, upright bass and out-of-tune upright piano. Early tracks are for the most part light and tuneful, often dance-like, with a particularly quirky main theme, that is to resurface often throughout subsequent tracks; and there's a likable little song, "Dear Laughing Doubters," performed by Sondre Lerche, who co-wrote it with the composer.
The main theme opens "Cat Burglars," before things take on a rare dramatic turn. This is followed by the scat-styled "Go Get 'Em," and then things take a decidedly darker turn with "Darla Arrives," with more to follow in the eerie "The Naughty Purse." "Penguins and Possum" has a little of light and dark, with some fast-paced action along the way, more of which is to follow in tracks like "Switched Phones;" the galloping, western-styled passage in "Brain Control;" and "Mein Finger!"
The first moment of sentiment appears in the gentle "Barry's Photos," but more is to follow in "Don't Stop Asking;" "Four Wet Feet;" "Mouse World," with it's easy, wordless vocal; "Tim Confesses" and "I Am a Goat."
The album's final cue "Tower of Dreamers" presents a very varied mix of dance music from various periods and locales; and there's even a touch of "Yankee Doodle Dandy," before a rocky interlude leads us to its charming conclusion.
Whilst a very different score from "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," this is an equally enjoyable little album, again proving what a master Shapiro is at comedy.
Dinner For Schmucks hits US screens in three days time. As for the score, you can download it now, or wait for the CD release on 3rd August.


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