Dane Cook throws his hat in the comedy ring in his first big role, and he doesn’t embarrass himself — he’s a generally inoffensive presence. But in playing an amiable doofus, he’s also a bit of a bore. As Zack, a slacker box boy in a discount superstore, he tries to woo a woman by becoming employee of the month. An admirably minor goal, and it translates into some minor enjoyment. Director Greg Coolidge saves his sharpest commentary for our super-sized culture, with some subtle jokes about buying everything from shampoo to coffins in one place, but his direction is sloppy and awkward. Neither does he score any points with the standard and unfunny homo-erotic interplay between Zack’s competition (Dax Shepard) and his bitch (Efren Ramirez — Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite!) or the obligatory life lessons learned. Oh, and Jessica Simpson stands around with her mouth hanging open and her shirt half unbuttoned. Her cleavage does some mighty fine acting.
On the Web
Employee of the Month's Web site: http://www.employeeofthemonthfilm.com/