Not Enough Gold Stars For Employee Of The Month (Josh's Take)

October 6, 2006

Ever wonder what goes on behind the registers at Costco or Sam's Club? Lionsgate seems to know in their new comedy Employee of the Month. The film stars Dane Cook, Jessica Simpson, and a handful of other comedians who tell us "buying in bulk is our God given right."

Dane Cook stars as Zack, a box boy who has never amounted to anything while working at Super Club. It's only when the sexy new cashier Amy (Jessica Simpson) arrives that Zack decides to beat out archenemy Vince (Dax Shepard) at winning employee of the month to get Amy's attention. The best performance however comes from Andy Dick's character Lon. While Andy does seem to be restraining himself at some points, his awkward appearance alone is hysterical.

Employee of the Month is refreshing for about the first 45 minutes, but after that it loses its momentum and becomes overly clichéd and predictable. The movie even steals many jokes from other films such as Happy Gilmore, Space Balls, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, just to name a few. The only originality comes from a few lines of dialogue by Cook's brilliant costars.

Cook himself isn't bad, he just isn't that funny coming from successful standup that has put him at status nearly the same as Steve Martin. He doesn't say or do much that generates a laugh besides some physical comedy involving him getting hurt in some way. The movie also can't seem to decide what its gimmick is. It goes from strong sexual humor to a flashy "good moral" story on and off for 103 minutes.

Jessica Simpson seems to really have no purpose in the movie except for those who like to stare. She has very little dialogue (I don't know if smiling and looking cute while standing counts as dialogue) and is only in the film because there has to be some real motivation for Zack to actually try and win employee of the month. Not to say she is a bad actress, I just feel like she wasn't given the chance to do much. I felt like everyone was holding back. This is my concern with almost every PG-13 comedy, it just doesn't offer enough for adults and is also defiantly not appropriate for kids.

Last Word:
While Employee of the Month does achieve a few moments of laughter, it seems to get stuck half way through in its predictability and lack of originality. Definitely not the employee of this month.

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