Employee Of The Month (2006)

"OK"

Employee Of The Month (2006) 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?



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

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

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.