With a cast of comedians, Employee of the Month should be a non-stop laugh fest. It’s not. It’s a few scattered gags, one or two decent one-liners, and a corny romantic plot that stretches itself thin.
Dane Cook stars as a low level employee of Super Club. His goal is to sleep with the new cashier (Jessica Simpson) who apparently will only have sex with the employee of the month (seriously). This begins a rather unfunny competition between Cook and Dax Shepard, the current title holder.
Surrounded by Andy Dick, Tim Bagley, and Harland Williams, there’s no reason this movie isn’t funnier. Retail workers will be able to relate to some of the situations present, but the rest of the film heads towards ridiculous happenings simply to put Cook and Simpson on screen together. Much of the story feels contrived and forced, unsurprising given how predictable it can be. The writers had to find every way possible to reach the inevitable conclusion.
The cast works fine together to produce this low level romantic comedy, yet the movie never seems to find something to draw the audience in. Physical or spoken, the jokes simply don’t work. The dialogue also seems constrained by the PG-13 rating, and giving this cast the freedom to let go could have done wonders. As it stands, this is a forgettable clunker with little merit. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]
With its bold color, Employee of the Month looks fine in HD. It doesn’t carry anything special, as detail is fine but not outstanding and the transfer is sharp yet not perfect. Thick, rich black levels create superb contrast. Long shots of the store maintain themselves without any noticeable compression or distortion. Somewhat heavy grain covers the entire movie, but it’s left intact. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]
Audio is completely unspectacular, though LionsGate offers DTS-HD and 5.1 EX options for it. The massive, bulk-selling store is consistently quiet without any activity in the surround channels. The soundtrack is flat and dialogue is always front loaded. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Audio]
Two commentaries are available, the first with Dane Cook and director Greg Coolidge, the second offering up Coolidge as a solo track. Assorted extras follow, all presented in HD. First up is a selection of deleted scenes, the first an alternate opening that shows a funny (and sadly quite true to life) retail training video. There’s a cameo from Eva Longoria as well.
A collection of R-rated bloopers are one of the better offerings here. They last for over five minutes. Two different ad-lib sections run for about six minutes total, the best coming from Harland Williams. This basically confirms how funny this movie could have been if they could have gone all the way with their gags as these brief clips are funnier than anything in the movie.
At Work with Lon is a short piece with Andy Dick in character working the vision center at the store. On Set Shenanigans is nothing but praise for the cast for close to five minutes. Beauty of Bulk and Men of Super Club follow the same path with everyone in character discussing their jobs. Both are worth watching with a runtime close to 15 minutes. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Extras]
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