Employee of the Month
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary By Director Greg Coolidge And Dane Cook; At Work With Lon (Andy Dick Getting Into His Role) – Featurette; Alternative Super Club Opening (Featuring Eva Longoria); Beauty Of Bulk – Featurette; At Work With Lon – Featurette; Men Of Super Club – Featurette; On Set Shenanigans – Featurette; Ad-Libs.
AMERICAN stand-up comedian Dane Cook and Punk’d star Dax Shepard are the two men fighting for Jessica Simpson’s affections in amiable but lacklustre retail comedy Employee Of The Month.
Greg Coolidge’s film boasts plenty of potential and its fair share of laughs but ultimately struggles to break with formula. It’s also far too reliant on low-brow gags and cliched characters.
Co-workers Zack (Cook) and Vince (Shepard) have long been rivals because of their contrasting sense of priority. The former is a slacker, content to take life easy, while the latter will stop at nothing to win the supermarket employee of the month competition and progress as a manager.
When foxy new colleague Amy Renfro (Simpson) joins the team with a reputation for sleeping with the winning employee, Vince suddenly finds himself having to fend off competition from his rival to land the coveted title.
The ensuing battle of wills is entertaining in an undemanding kind of way but consistently fails to make the most of its potential, especially in light of its overlong running time.
None of the jokes are as funny as they ought to be and some of the support characters exist to annoy while sticking rigidly to stereotype.
There’s also the sneaking suspicion that the film’s best audience might be reserved for DVD, where it may find an Office Space kind of cult appeal.
Yet for those willing to shop for the odd laugh, or desperate for the sight of Simpson’s big, erm, ears, the film isn’t completely without merit.
Newcomer Cook makes a useful first impression as the laidback Zack, transforming his slacker character into someone worth rooting for, while Shepard is also good value as the egotistical store snob and villain of the piece.
Simpson also works wonders with a thankless part and strikes some nice chemistry with Cook during the well-played romantic interludes. She’s a worthwhile object of affection.
It’s just a shame that having found such a game cast, director Coolidge couldn’t have shopped around for a better script given that Employee Of The Month fails to provide the quality of service we had every right to expect.
Running time: 1hr 48mins