Joe Simpson is the entertainment industry version of a paternal pimp, selling his daughter Jessica as a highly sexualized Barbie doll to horny male consumers for a tidy familial profit. Employee of the Month is the latest of Joe’s endeavors (he produces) to peddle the former Newlyweds blond bombshell as a set of shiny white teeth and pair of enormous breasts, to the point that despite her character Amy—a vapid new cashier at Costco-style wholesaler Super Club—boasting two gigantic ears beneath her long, lustrous locks, the bulk of director Greg Coolidge’s attention remains firmly fixated on the enormous, ever-present cleavage spilling out of her V-neck tops. Such sights would be more tantalizing if the mental image of an off-camera Mr. Simpson nodding his head in approval weren’t so persistent, and yet the singer-turned-actress’s physical assets remain the most pleasant aspect of this moronic saga of romantic rivalry, which involves the competition between slacker box boy Zack (the inexplicably popular Dane Cook) and perennial store superstar Vince (Dax Shepard) for both the titular honors and Amy’s affection. Aimed directly at college kids who decorate their walls with Reservoir Dogs posters and think the mere appearance of midgets and farts is comedy gold, the film offers up dull stereotypes, weak pop-culture references, and a dramatic arc for Zack that’s clichéd to the point of embarrassment. Rather than skewering the rampant consumerism of its excess-endorsing setting, Coolidge’s dud instead simply treats its retail outlet as a playpen for immature skirmishes, with a couple of unfunny peripheral characters (including Andy Dick as a blind eyeglass technician) and tired musical montages thrown in for objectionable measure. It almost goes without saying that such a lowest-common-denominator project boasts its fair share of homophobic and racist jokes. And yet Employee of the Month‘s undercurrent of intolerance is surprisingly blatant, whether it be the mockery directed at Super Club’s in-the-closet boss, Napoleon Dynamite‘s Efren Ramirez reprising his weird Latino sidekick routine as Vince’s protégé Jorge (whose name Zack pronounces “Whore-Gay”), or a scene in which Vince, discovering that Jorge is carrying a knife while on a nonviolent burglary mission, blurts out, “You said you were a Mexican, not a Puerto Rican!” Frat boys and KKK members will surely love it.
- Greg Coolidge
- Don Calame, Chris Conroy, Greg Coolidge
- Dane Cook, Jessica Simpson, Dax Shepard, Andy Dig, Tim Bagley, Brian George, Efren Ramirez, Marcello Thedford, Danny Woodburn, Harland Williams