Employee Of The Month

"Weak"

Employee Of The Month Review


Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a job with the least amount of responsibility. When the Costco-like store where he works hires a new, comely cashier (Jessica Simpson) who has a history for hooking up with the employee of the month, Zack decides to try harder so he can win her affection.

Too bad the movie never follows Zack's example. For 103 minutes, Employee of the Month refuses to go beyond shallow observations and silly slapstick, making for an ordinary outing when that should not be the case. Anyone who has ever worked in retail (or seen Clerks) knows there's a wealth of material for a good comedy. When I managed a used bookstore, a customer argued her case for a lower price by repeatedly stating that she was "a lawyer." At Borders, I had another customer so convinced we carried International Male (we didn't) that he was threatened with police action. Also at Borders, I have never worked with so many people who had visible tattoos, including one who had a small image of a pen and book on her lower back.

A better cast could have given the material a good jolt. Let's take a look at the movie's three leads: Dax Shepard, Simpson, and Cook. As Cook's nemesis, the primping, cocky cashier Vince, Shepard plays the douche bag with self-serious enthusiasm, but he acts with too much of an ironic bent. After her God-awful performance in The Dukes of Hazzard, it's a triumph that Simpson can convincingly portray a carbon-based life form. It's also an asset that here she's not smothered in three layers of bronzer.

Cook might be one of many stand-up comics not meant for a movie career. Look at Chris Rock, one of the funniest people on the planet, a man who can be simultaneously profound, profane, and hilarious. Most of his movie work is dreadful because he's never found the proper vehicle for his humor. Cook's role could have been played by any mildly funny, handsome guy aged 25 to 35. He's likable and affable, but you get the feeling his talent could be better utilized elsewhere, like on stage. A quote from an interview this year suggests where his comfort level is. "I wanted to create a stage persona for myself that allowed me to really speak on anything I want... So I can be a storyteller, I can be jokey, I can be corny, I can be a little vulgar, I can be a lot vulgar. And I'm not afraid to go anywhere to get the point of the joke across."

Dane Cook is the most popular stand-up comic in America today, a reign that usually doesn't last too long (remember Dana Carvey). He might want to work on retaining that crown, instead of starring in mediocre movies that don't highlight his appeal, and worse, don't get many jokes across.

Gosh, how to pick?



Employee Of The Month

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th October 2006

Box Office USA: $28.4M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Lionsgate

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 72

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Barry Katz, Robert L. Levy, , , Brian Volk-Weiss, Brian Weiss

Starring: as Zack, as Amy, as Vince, as Lon, Tim Bagley as Glen Gary, as Iqbal, as Jorge, as Semi, as Glen Ross, as Russell, as Dirk, Barbara Dodd as Granny, Victor Izay as Greeter, Marc Mouchet as Gene, Kathleen Arc as Grumpy Lady


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement