Employee of the Month
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Starring: Dane Cook, Dax Shepard, Jessica Simpson, Andy Dick, Harland Williams, Tim Bagley, Brian George, Efren Ramirez
Directed By: Greg Coolidge
Rating: 5 out of 10
A Super Club employee and slacker decides to go for the employee of the month to impress a new co-worker.
I can forgive people anything when it comes to me judging if a movie is good or bad. Peoples off screen persona and past on screen performances never factor into my review. Now that I have said that, seeing the cast of this movie made me throw up in my mouth a little. Dane Coke, Dax Shepard, Andy Dick, Harland Williams, Jessica Simpson, and whatever Pedro from Napoleon Dynamites real name is? Really? This is the cast you are throwing our way? Can I take the douchiest casts in movie history for 200 hundred Alex? Now that I got that out of the way this movie was more entertaining than I expected. Employee of the Month is the story of Zack, a box boy who works at Super Club (basically a Costco) He jokes, he slacks, and he hangs out with his coworker buddies without a care in the world. That is until a new employee Amy shows up who seemingly likes guys who are employee of the month (EOTM from now on). Nothing can stand in Zack’s way of winning the EOTM and the girl except his propensity for slacking and a model employee Vince who is the head cashier.
This film is all about weighing the bad and stupid characters against the good characters that genuinely get laughs and are fun to watch. Ultimately there are just too many scenes of random or unfunny comments to make this movie a recommendation. The film introduces us to its key players and quickly you will realize this is a two man movie. Zack and Vince try their best to make you like this movie but they are bogged down with a terrible supporting cast. The film seems constrained by its PG-13 rating. It is trying to make itself look like a raunchier film then it actually is or can be. Under all the product and shelving at Super Club this is just another thinly put together romantic comedy that needed some more risqué humor to make it work. The film starts to unfold in the usual manor. Zack the slacker realizes he has to change his ways to win the girl and the EOTM. Vince the model employee wants the girl also and has won the last 17 EOTM prizes in a row so he won’t give it up without a fight. In this battle for the girl is where the movie works the best. The two of them think of new ways to sabotage each other like Zack putting Vince’s car in the racks for sale, or Vince breaking into Zack’s home to make him late for work. They get laughs with funny lines and stupid slapstick and that was fine by me.
The good characters are Zack played by Dane Cook and Vince played by Dax Shepard. Vince is this loveable slacker character that is easily relatable. Cook has the quick bantering and fast delivery that makes his character so good in this film. Vince is the highlight of the film for me. I am guessing he will not appeal to everyone but I found him funny. He is this lanky, super dyed blonde hair, creepy, unlikely ladies man. He over sells everything from his head cashier job to his crappy car and he had me laughing right through this movie. When Cook and Shepard are face to face and trash talking it makes you wish the supporting cast could have been better.
See that segue right there as I transition the conversation smoothly into the terrible supporting cast. Virtually everyone in this film was off aside from a couple of funny comments from Vince’s side kick Jorge (Efren Ramirez). I am sure I don’t need to tell you this but Harland Williams is not funny and neither is Andy Dick. I am not sure why they keep showing up in so many films. They both played co-workers and friends to Zack and I hated them equally. Andy Dick played a virtually blind, eye glass technician (Hilarious right) and Harland plays a warehouse worker who thinks saying the word “guy” at the end of every sentence is hilarious. They offered nothing positive or funny to this film in any way. Lastly is the leading lady in question, Amy played by Jessica Simpson. Let me just say Jessica Simpson should be doing anything else in life other than being in movies. Her delivery is so unnatural that you cringe when she has dialogue in this movie. She is nothing more than glorified eye candy in a tight sweater in this film.
The film seems to build up some comedic momentum and then that momentum quickly gets snuffed out by a bad joke or awful situation. The film also falters as it tries to make it seem like it has heart. Zack alienates his friends and ultimately starts acting like Vince in a tired and expected angle in this film. This film doesn’t need deep big box store romance, or Super Club back story. It just needed jokes and they seemed to forget this at regular intervals. As the film makes its way to the typical but not unsatisfying ending of a man versus man shopping challenge I can say I was pleasantly surprised by this film even though it falters in so many areas. It shows you with a little creativity any cast can get some laughs.
First time full length feature director Greg Coolidge has much to be proud of. While the obvious story dragged down this film in a lot of areas he still put together an entertaining film with a generous amount of laughs. He has good pacing on the film and got the most out of a less than stellar cast. It would be interesting to see what he could do with a better script.
I cannot recommend this film and while having said that it was the most fun I had in a Costco bar none.
T Factor + If you liked stupid humor this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like Dane Cook or Dax Shepard this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: My Best Friend’s Girl, Loser