Employee of the Month Release Date: 2004 Genre: Comedy | Drama Director(s): Mitch Rouse Writer(s): Mitch Rouse & Jay Leggett (both of Without a Paddle) Starring: Matt Dillon, Christina Applegate, Steve Zahn, Dave Foley I really wanted to show Employee of the Month some love. Going into it, I knew of two things about it. […]

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Employee of the Month
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Director(s): Mitch Rouse
Writer(s): Mitch Rouse & Jay Leggett (both of Without a Paddle)
Starring: Matt Dillon, Christina Applegate, Steve Zahn, Dave Foley

I really wanted to show Employee of the Month some love. Going into it, I knew of two things about it. First, the badass artwork, and second, that it featured a cast of “unlikable characters.” Considering how idiotic most people’s perception of likeability is, what with Patrick Bateman being deemed unlikable by many audience members five years ago and all, I was prepared to truly indulge myself with a black comedy.

Did I get a funny black comedy? With a few exceptions, no doubt. Actors like Matt Dillon, Steve Zahn, and Dave Foley provided a suitable amount of dark-centered laughs. What kills Employee of the Month’s effectiveness, though, is its story twists. If you have half a brain, every single bit of comedy will be gone and forgotten in your mind thanks to the filmmakers using scrambled logic inspired by Wild Things. In Wild Things, that logic made sense. In Employee of the Month, the number of plotholes and questionable character actions is simply insurmountable.

In the span of a single day, Matt Dillon gets fired from his job as a bank manager and broken up with by his fiancée (Applegate) after she finds a pair of his secretary’s panties in his coat. Distraught and ready to end it all, he seeks solace in a seedy motel room. It’s there that he runs into his best friend, played with much comedic talent by the always reliable Steve Zahn, who works as a crooked corpse transporter. After a night with Zahn, he’s ready to take drastic measures during his last day at work. Here’s where the twists start coming in, and where I stop caring.

Every twist that is thrown at the screen in the movie’s final fifteen minutes negates every single emotional action by the characters in the previous hour and fifteen. It’s just plain insulting. It’s one thing to have certain scenes play out because they’re in public, but why in private? Writer/Director Mitch Rouse and co-writer Jay Leggett obviously didn’t think of this, choosing to take the lazy man’s route, and it kills the picture.
The comedy, while adequate, never hits side splitting, so there’s really no reason to watch Employee of the Month.

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Employee of the Month, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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