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The Promotion a Weird Little Comedy

Published June 6, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Dimension Films
The Promotion PosterThe Promotion
Here's a weird little comedy. I definitely didn't dislike The Promotion, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it either. I can't even really pinpoint the comedy except to call it passive aggressive comedy.

Review: The Promotion

Doug (Seann William Scott) is assistant manager at a supermarket. He wants a promotion to manager of the new store so he can afford a house with his wife (Jenna Fischer). His competition is new assistant manager Richard (John C. Reilly), a seemingly perfect candidate from Canada.

That sounds cute, right? Competing assistant managers in the wacky world of supermarket management. Kind of like Clerks in a bigger store, or at least a funny version of Employee of the Month.

The Promotion never goes for wild shenanigans, and certainly no extended pop culture diatribes. There are some quirky characters who do gross things, and contrived incidents to push characters into a fervor, but that's not the main gist of The Promotion.

Most of the film just lingers on silent faces, everyone pausing nervously to explain themselves. It really captures the mundane corporate talk, but not like it's making fun of it like The Office. It's really just hovering in it. Is that passive aggressive? I don't even know.

The film manages to amuse with a few chuckles but nothing profound. It still seems like the type of movie that will play Comedy Central in its most extended life. I don't even think it's for stoners, because it's fairly well plotted and not that visual. So maybe that's passive aggressive comedy or maybe I'm just passive aggressively criticizing it.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Dimension Films

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