The Dinner Game

The Dinner Game

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Francis Veber
Produced by Alain Poiré
Written by Francis Veber
Starring Jacques Villeret
Thierry Lhermitte
Francis Huster
Daniel Prévost
Alexandra Vandernoot
Catherine Frot
Music by Vladimir Cosma
Cinematography Luciano Tovoli
Edited by Georges Klotz
Distributed by Gaumont
Release dates
  • 15 April 1998 (1998-04-15)
Running time
80 minutes[1]
Country France
Language French
Budget $12.5 million
Box office $65.4 million[2]

The Dinner Game (original title: Le Dîner de Cons - English: "Dinner of Fools"[3]) is a 1998 French comedy film written and directed by Francis Veber. It is a film adaptation by Veber of his play Le Dîner de Cons.


Pierre Brochant, a Parisian publisher, attends a weekly "idiots' dinner", where guests, who are modish, prominent Parisian businessmen, must bring along an "idiot" who the other guests can ridicule. At the end of the dinner, the evening's "champion idiot" is selected.

With the help of an "idiot scout", Brochant manages to find a "gem", François Pignon, a sprightly employee of the Finance Ministry (which Brochant, a tax cheat, loathes) that has a passion for building replicas of landmarks with matchsticks. Shortly after inviting Pignon to his home, Brochant is suddenly stricken with dorsalgia while playing golf at his exclusive country club. His wife, Christine, leaves him shortly before Pignon arrives at his apartment, as she realizes that he still wants to go to the "idiots' dinner." Brochant initially wants Pignon to leave, but instead becomes reliant on him, because of his back problem and his need to resolve his relationship problems.

He solicits Pignon's assistance in making a series of telephone calls to locate his wife, but Pignon gaffes each time, including revealing the existence of Brochant's mistress, Marlene Sasseur (thinking that she is Brochant's sister, since her name sounds like "sa soeur"), to his wife Christine and inviting Lucien Cheval, a tax inspector, to Brochant's house where, in an attempt to disguise his tax evasion, Brochant is forced to quickly hide most of his valuables.

In the meantime, Brochant is able to make amends with an old friend, Juste Leblanc, from whom he stole Christine, and through the evening's events is forced to reassess his mistakes.



At the 1999 César Awards, the film was honored with six nominations of which it won three. The categories where it won were Best Actor for Jacques Villeret,[4] Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Prévost and Best Screenplay for Francis Veber. It was nominated but did not win for Best Film, Veber as Best Director and Catherine Frot as Best Supporting Actress.

Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
César Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Francis Veber Nominated
Best Actor Jacques Villeret Won
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Prévost Won
Best Supporting Actress Catherine Frot Nominated
Best Writing Francis Veber Won
Goya Awards Best European Film Nominated
Lumières Awards Best Actor Jacques Villeret Won
Best Screenplay Francis Veber Won


Le Dîner de cons
Soundtrack album by Vladimir Cosma
Released 17 January 2000 (2000-01-17)
Length 40:05
Label Larghetto
No. TitlePerformer(s) Length
1. "Dîner de cons" (orchestral version)Philip Catherine, Romane, Vladimir Cosma & LAM Philharmonic Orchestra 2:45
2. "Le temps ne fait rien à l'affaire"  Georges Brassens 2:08
3. "Dîner de cons" (Phillip Catherine version)Vladimir Cosma & Philip Catherine 3:32
4. "Christine et Brochant"  Vladamir Cosma & String Orchestra 0:59
5. "Manciniade"  Vladimir Cosma 3:20
6. "Cheval, contrôleur fiscal"  Vladimir Cosma & LAM Philharmonic Orchestra 2:14
7. "Con à grande vitesse"  Vladimir Cosma & Philip Catherine 2:16
8. "Nincompoop"  Vladimir Cosma & ICE Group 1:57
9. "Pignon décomposé"  Vladimir Cosma & String Orchestra & Guitar 1:21
10. "Marlène Sasseur, nymphomane"  Vladimir Cosma 1:27
11. "Départ de Christine"  Vladimir Cosma & String Orchestra 1:06
12. "Dîner de cons" (Romane version)Philip Catherine, Romane & Vladimir Cosma 3:31
13. "Louche connexion"  Vladimir Cosma 2:42
14. "Allo, Henry!"  Vladimir Cosma 3:15
15. "Juste Leblanc"  Vladimir Cosma & String Orchestra & Guitar 1:29
16. "Dîner de cons"  Philip Catherine, Romane & Vladimir Cosma 6:03
Total length:

Other adaptations


  1. "LE DINER DE CONS (THE DINNER GAME) (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 16 November 1998. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  3. The last word is difficult to translate directly into English, as the equivalent English word, "cunt", is considered unacceptably vulgar, and typically has a somewhat more aggressive tone than con (see Bradshaw, Peter (2 July 1999). "Con trick". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2011.) A Dublin and London version of the stage play used a slightly different strategy, shifting the day of the dîner to Tuesdays so the euphemistic title See You Next Tuesday could be used (see: "see you next Tuesday". London Theatre Guide. 3 July 2003. Retrieved 9 May 2013.)
  4. Tomasovitch, Geoffroy (16 February 2007). "Mystères autour de l'héritage de Jacques Villeret". Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  5. ""Le Dîner de Cons" (The Dinner Game)". Dashan Online. Archived from the original on 23 August 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

External links

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