December 2, 2004
‘Schmucks’ and Yucks
Sacha Baron Cohen, better known as the star of the eponymous "Da Ali G Show," is in Hollywood preparing for his headliner turn in an upcoming movie with the felicitous title "Dinner for Schmucks."
In the role, Cohen/Ali will portray a -- well -- schmuck, with the gift of ruining the life of anyone who spends a few minutes in his company.
The film is a remake of Francis Veber's 1998 French comedy hit "Le Diner de Cons" (The Idiot Game), which introduces a French publisher who hosts a weekly dinner for his friends.
He challenges his pals to bring the most pathetic guests they can find to the gathering, with Cohen winning the honor hands down.
The scriptwriter for "Schmucks" is Jon Vitti, a frequent contributor to "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill" and "Da Ali G Show." Distributor of the movie is DreamWorks, co-founded by Steven Spielberg.
Cohen was not available for comment, but Marvin Levy, Spielberg's chief spokesman, said that the film will probably start shooting in early spring and be ready for release next fall.
Born in London and raised in an Orthodox home by his British father and Israeli mother, Cohen is reported to follow an observant Jewish lifestyle.