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Movie Review: Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month
Directed by Greg Coolidge
Written by Don Calame, Chris Conroy, and Coolidge

Yep, I’m exhausted by filmmaker excuses when it comes to cheap movies. Recently, a minor news story came about where master director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, Bloodrayne)challenged his critics to a boxing match, as if delivering a knockout to the brave souls who actually answered the challenge would make his films suck any less. His argument, as well as many other similar arguments for those movies not seeking Oscars, is “What do you expect?” This argument is convenient. It actually works with some portion (if not most) of the public, who believe critics really are looking for Oscar contenders in every movie they see, which is absolutely ludicrous. But basically, any movie that comes out with no lofty goals can hide behind that reasoning. They can be completely lazy, not try anything new, and shrug and say, “Hey–it’s just a dumb movie,” and be on their merry way to making the movie in any slipshod fashion because the movie’s success has already been predetermined to perform a certain way. Employee of the Month is one of those incredibly lazy comedies where they stick a whole bunch of comedians on set and hope that there’s enough of a spark to make a complete, laugh-out-loud comedy. The bottom line for comedies is not whether they have high aspirations but whether they freaking make you laugh. And here, a carton of giggles spread out over an hour and forty minutes is what you get.

Zack (Dane Cook) works at a Sam’s Club-type of place as a box boy, and he has a few friends played by Andy Dick, Harland Williams, and Seinfeld’s Babu Bhatt–Brian George. They are the store’s slackers, and they are constantly reminded of their inferiority by cashier Vince (Dax Shepard), who has been employee of the month seventeen months in a row, going on an eighteenth, and his wannabe sidekick Jorge (Efren Ramirez, the infamous Pedro of Napoleon Dynamite). Then, a new cashier transfers in–it’s Jessica Simpson, located right behind Jessica Simpson’s huge breasts. Zack, like any man who sees a foxy chick like Jessica, wants her, and wants to know things about her that will help him eventually land her in the sack. A real crack investigation leads Zack to believe that she goes for the employee of the month, that she’s insatiable when faced with such manly men–so he has to work extremely hard to start beating Vince, who also has eyes for the vixen.

So, this goes on in its predictable way, with a couple of laughs–I seriously wonder if the hilarious Dane Cook, the energetic next big thing of comedy, wanted so badly to just riff on this whole thing–he probably had ideas, probably pitched them half-heartedly, “Wouldn’t it be great if we filmed this?” and director Greg Coolidge said, “Yeah, that’d be funny! OK, on to the next scene…” Cook is unbelievably timid in all this. I would have welcomed him just all of the sudden breaking into his stand-up routine for no reason. Meanwhile, since this is a movie not aiming for Oscars, we’re going to have to base our enjoyment of this movie entirely on Dax Shepard and his “villain,” the couple of scenes of Andy Dick, doing his usual one-note oddball he plays in every movie, and Harland Williams, spouting out his non-sequiter babble.

End result–well below average, no laugh-out-loud moments to be had, and many missed opportunities that would have made this thing a lot funnier.


Comment from Mike
Time: October 11, 2006, 10:35 pm

Testing, testing

Comment from loomiagomepef
Time: April 1, 2008, 2:38 am

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I’m writing a few articles right now and want to get some info and opinions.

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Time: November 28, 2008, 11:45 am

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