This is one of those movies that you can proudly say, “That was pretty good!” I was expecting THE PROMOTION to be as awful and humorless as Sean William Scott’s last failed effort called Mr. Woodcock, but this is nothing like that. THE PROMOTION is a comedy that surprisingly has enough drama to make you connect with the characters. It has physical humor but it doesn’t depend solely on that. It shows what compels or motivates a person to be competitive without forgetting to be funny.
Doug (Scott) is an assistant manager at a grocery store chain who can’t seem to catch a break. His girlfriend is a nurse surrounded by successful doctors who make him feel insignificant. Richard (John C. Reilly) is an assistant manager from another
chain in Canada. He moves down with his family to create a better life when a new store is going to be built in that area. The corporation is looking for somebody to become store manager at the new location, so Doug and Richard find themselves competing for this coveted promotion.
Most other comedies would have two people competing against each other over the most insignificant things, and then you’d see each of them cooking up plans to get the other person out of the game. THE PROMOTION has that, but it doesn’t get too ridiculous. The silly scenes are not overdone and there’s no over the top, unnecessary, outrageous stuff that would turn you off. Overall, it is well written and I give props to writer/director Steve Conrad.
This is actually the first proof that Sean William Scott (American Pie) can actually act!
The world knows John C. Reilly has acting skills, because he’s an Oscar nominee for the move Chicago. However, to see Stiffler give a decent performance as an ordinary man who’s trying to do his best to give his girlfriend a better life, is actually a refreshing things to see on the big screen. Both characters have justifiable reasons for being competitive and like one of Reilly’s lines states, “We’re all just trying to find food out there.” you’ll end up sympathizing with both competitors.
I enjoyed writer/director Steven Conrad’s take on showing what a horrible workplace/work environment could look and feel like. The movie also shows society’s perception of what might be considered a respected job vs. working in a department store or shopping center. I like the simplicity used to display the mindset regarding a male who feels inadequate because his female counterpart makes more money than he does. There’s a sense of pride that comes with a promotion. It’s not just about more money, or more benefits, it’s a sign that you’re somebody. It’s a sign that you’ve earned the respect of your peers.
It’s a bit sad to think that some people have to prove something just to feel some self-worth. However, it’s also a sad thing to just coast through an ordinary life without having any aspirations, dreams or higher goals to pursue.
My grade for this film is: 4 out of 5
All work and no play makes the Young & Successful feel unbalanced! To rescue our overworked souls, YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon discusses the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.