Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"The Promotion": Definitely a Renter

I'm not going to waste too much time talking about this movie, as I just spent an hour and a half of my life kinda wishing I was doing something else (like sleeping, or collage-ing something). I will say it wasn't bad, like Nine Months bad, but it's definitely a sign of a snoozer when, as the closing credits roll, you and your fellow movie-goer simultaneously say how pissed you would be if you had to have paid for it.

This Steve Conrad-directed film heads to the Chicago area to follow a good-intentioned, hard-working grocery store Assistant Manager named Doug (Sean William Scott). Told that he's the "shoe-in" for a management position opening up at a new store location, Doug confidently decides to pursue a long-time dream of buying a house with his supportive, loving wife (Jenna Fischer). Enter Richard (John C. Reilly), a genuinely likable Assistant Manager transplant from a sister chain in Canada, who brings on some "friendly" competition for the Management role. Jealousy ensues, tricks are pulled, and both men discover their levels of morality and what they're willing to risk for this promotion.

Why it's a "renter" and not a "don't see": great acting, directing, and character development. These people made a story out of virtually nothing, and tossed emotions at you where you least expected them. Both mains were equally lovable, pitiable, and frustrating at the same time, and their problems were real. John C. Reilly, as always, was brilliant (I can never hate on Reilly - he looks like a Shar Pei), and flew with this role of awkward, flawed teddy bear.

The laughs weren't constant, but peppered throughout the film a bit weakly - I would have liked to see more funny stuff more often. Though there were some chuckle-worthy phrases, facial expressions and situations, there were too few and none strong enough to balance out the tragedy (in the Greek sense).

If I had more time to analyze the film and appreciate whatever symbolism and character flaws were showcased, I'm pretty sure it would get an improved rating. But for now, my review is as stands: put it on the Netflix queue.

P.S.: Yes, I did see Sean William Scott; he was there watching the flick with the rest of us, eating a large popcorn. He apparently was not sharing his snack with whatever emaciated non-celeb girl he brought as a date. Damn skinny bitches; is that all you need to be to score a celebrity? Pass me the laxatives.

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