The Good

The actors in the movie are all doing their best with the material they've been given.

The Bad

Aren't the players in this film getting a little old for these kinds of movies?

Employee of the Month features Dax Shepard, Dane Cook, and Jessica Simpson in a movie that examines retail culture at it's best and worst. Vince (Shepard) has been Employee of the Month in a row. It is an award he covets and he seems to get it with ease because nobody really cares as much as he does. Zack (Dane Cook) doesn't really care either way, and even though he's been at the Super Club for 10 years he is a victim of occupational lethargy. He hates his job but at the same time he isn't going anywhere. He may not like Vince either but at the present time he doesn't matter to Zack so they don't have any problems.

Things change when Amy (Jessica Simpson) emerges on the scene. Everyone is enamored of this girl but she makes it clear she's only interested in the "Employee of the Month." (Why she would care, especially if said person has been there for 10 years, is anybody's guess but this isn't the kind of film you start breaking down in that way.) One of those smitten is Zack, and when he realizes if he can make the grade he can have this woman's heart, we see a complete change in attitude. This puts him in direct confrontation with Vince and suddenly we are treated to constant attempts on the parts of these two characters to upend one another.

Employee of the Month is the kind of movie that while not that original, does manage to produce laughs from the people who choose to screen it.

Features

Commentaries With Director Greg Coolidge and Dane Cook

Okay, how would this not be enjoyable? Coolidge and Cook seem like they've cracked open the beers and have decided to look at what they've created together. Filled with anecdotes, jokes, inside jokes, and the kind of banter that might rankle people hoping to hear "how it was made," this commentary is in some ways more enjoyable than the movie itself. I think I understand why so many directors, when they make movies like this, choose to also do a separate commentary track. It makes it much easier for them to coherently discuss the film when they aren't having to contend with a comedian. That said, director Greg Coolidge seems to be having a good time here.

At Work With Lon

Just what the world needs a featurette that focuses on Lon played by Andy Dick. I can only imagine what it must be like to really work with this person. We see clips of the character doing and saying the zany things he does in this movie, but we are also treated to Mr. Dick's (as Lon) reactions to various things that the other characters say. I can't say that I ever thought Andy Dick was very funny, but he is slowly wearing on me. To really see what he must be like to work with, I urge you to check out Fired! and witness his running of a mobile meal truck.

Alternate Super Club Opening and Ad Libs

There's nothing too amazing about the Alternate Super Club Opening that they have put on this disc, but if you were a fan of this movie (or you have nothing else better to do) then you should certainly check it out. It is easy to why they went with the opening they did, but at the same I always like seeing the options filmmakers had to work with. The Ad Libs are precisely that in which we see various actors trying out certain lines, or riffing on passages within the script. These play more like a blooper reel but they are worth watching simply because a lot of this cast is comically inclined.

Video

1.85:1 - AVC MPEG-4 encoded 1080p. This movie looked good but not as good as some of the other Blu-ray discs I have viewed. There seemed to be a big difference when we'd see shots inside the Super Club as opposed to outside or in other locations. Some people have told me that I am merely nitpicking, but the one thing about this next generation technology is that it magnifies any potential flaws. There aren't any points where the picture had hits in it, or where it was dirty, it just seemed to be too harsh at times. Some moments things would be overly bright and then moments later things would be much darker. It sometimes seemed to change from scene to scene.

Audio

DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX mix. This sounded good for not being the kind of film that was going to take your sound system out for a spin. In fact, when I first saw that this movie was on Blu-ray, I sort of wondered why since it kind of seems like taking the of a drawing by a 6 year old and putting it in a museum. This isn't a slag on the film but the soundtrack is clearly one of indifferent ambiance. We're not talking about Alien vs. Predator here, okay. For what it is, the sound of this movie fine.

Package

From what I gather this front cover image is the same as one of them that was employed when this movie first came out in theaters. We see Dane Cook, Dax Shepard and Jessica Simpson messing around with a shopping cart. The back features some more shots from this film, a succinct description of what it's about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.

Final Word

Okay, this is an open letter to Dane Cook, Dax Shepard and Jessica Simpson...

While not a terrible film, Employee of the Month is clearly material that should be played by younger people. With the three of you in these title roles, it seems like you are trying to play to a younger audience, and, Jessica Simpson not included, it undercuts any cutting edge-type comedy that you might be known for. Don't get me wrong, this film tries to have some of that but it simply can't. The premise itself is weak, we've seen these characters before, and overall it simply seems like the whole project was geared to other talent. Then, some big wig felt that if they stuck some middle-aged (or approaching middle age) actors in the main roles, they would boost the movies appeal to various demographics. Essentially, this film was Clerks or Waiting... (which Cook was also in) just on a higher budget.

So, my advice is that you pick better projects. Take smaller roles if have to. Here's a thought, don't always go to the same writers that studio's feel comfortable with. It is exactly that kind of comfort that produces cookie cutter films like Employee of the Month, and while they aren't terrible, is comedy ever supposed to be comfortable?