Employee of the Month

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Zack Bradley, a box boy at Super Club, a Price Club/Costco/Sam’s Club type store. He’s more than content with his life as a box boy. He lives with his grandmother, hangs out with his buddies in their homemade lounge in the center of the store’s shopping racks, trades away dented goods, and gets along with just about everyone. In fact, there’s only one person Zack can’t seem to get along with: lead cashier Vince Downey (Dax Shepard), the epitome of retail world brown nosing. Vince has been employee of the month at Super Club for seventeen months straight and winning the eighteenth time means big prizes (including a “newish” Chevy Malibu) and a promotion. Usually that title wouldn’t mean anything to a slacker like Zack, but when the new hot cashier Amy (Jessica Simpson) appears on the scene with rumors that she goes for employee of the month, Zack decides to give Vince some competition.

This is, at its heart, an underdog film, which I almost always enjoy to some degree. Zack is constantly trod upon by Vince’s overwhelmingly good luck. Even when Zack and his friends try to get the best of the big suck up, something good happens for the egotistical wonder that allows him to come out ahead. It’s a real testament to the power of positive thinking once you learn that Vince sees his job as a big success (“why climb a mountain when you can win the land race?” he asks) while Zack knows his job sucks but took it as a way not to hurt anyone after a business failure cost his grandmother her retirement savings; Vince thinks well so he does well, Zack doesn’t. But really it’s a way of making the audience really want Vince to get his comeuppance, and feel a great sense of satisfaction once he begins to.

With a cast comprised of stand-up comedians, singer turned actors, and former Ashton Kutcher “Punk’d” assistants one doesn’t exactly expect Oscar caliber acting from Employee of the Month, however the performances aren’t terrible either. Dane Cook acts as a subdued Ryan...
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