Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly star in this hilarious workplace comedy. Scott, a career assistant manager seems a shoo-in for the opportunity to run the chain's new store - that is until a Canadian transfer starts to compete for the job too. Fists fly in a no-holds barred battle as each man one-ups the other while their mortified wives and co-workers look on.
The Promotion is about doing what it takes to get ahead of
the competition in your career, as neighborhood supermarket
Donaldson’s two assistant managers Doug and Richard
would have you know.
As played by comedy veterans Seann William Scott and John
C. Reilly, they go head to head, mano a mano style, to slug
it out for the coveted position of manager at a new store
location. Each has his reasons for wanting and eventually
needing the promotion: Doug stays with his wife in a small
apartment that offers no privacy with a “banjo-playing”
next door neighbour. They also subsequently invest almost
all their savings on a non-refundable deposit for a house.
Richard, on the other hand, is a recovering alcoholic and
drug addict, who is trying to do it right by his wife and
newly born daughter. As Richard muses, their conflict is one
of circumstance. “We’re all just out here to find
some food,” he says, “sometimes we bump into each
other.” Contrary to its billing, The Promotion is less
a comedy than a social satire. Indeed, writer Steve Conrad,
who gained cred for his work on “The Pursuit of Happiness”,
fashions his directorial debut as “The Pursuit of the
American Dream” and a movie that is subtle and human.
Conrad’s idea of comedy is never laugh out loud, irreverent,
or boisterous. It is not that The Promotion does not have
its funny moments, but they are designed to elicit a chuckle,
not bowl you over. And that’s perfectly fine with me,
because Conrad creates his characters real. They are people
with concerns you can relate to, but Hollywood caricatures
that you know belong in a movie.
It is in this light therefore that the performances of Seann
William Scott and John C. Reilly should be seen in. While
Reilly is known for his dramatic abilities, and more recently
his comedic talents (see Step Brothers and Walk Hard: The
Dewey Cox Story), Scott is better known for his roles in comedies
such as the American Pie trilogy and The Dukes of Hazzard.
Scott’s much more subdued performance here is quite
a revelation. Without any of the usual raunchy sexual innuendo-filled
jokes he is often heard delivering, Scott imbues his character
Doug with an earnestness and sincerity that endears.
The Promotion did not do well B.O.-wise in the States, and
neither did it charm many critics. But this is less a fault
of the movie than is it, I believe, of expectations. Sure,
there are elements of comedy to be found, but the movie aspires
to be a realistic portrayal of two everyday people’s
pursuit of a better job, a higher wage, and ultimately, a
more comfortable life. It is a human comedy therefore, with
lots of heart for its characters and their predicaments, and
that is what makes it stand out.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
The disc’s visual transfer is acceptable and the movie is presented in its original English dialogue.
by Gabriel Chong
Posted on 29 May 2009