"This Movie Could Use a Promotion"
What You Need To Know:
THE PROMOTION sends positive messages about honesty being the right way to go and the benefits of a strong work ethic. The most objectionable part is its abundant foul language, including many “f” words. There is also too much sexual dialogue, though no actual sex is depicted. A character smokes marijuana, but it is seen as a weakness and not glorified. Overall, THE PROMOTION is an average movie with not much to recommend it. Had the filmmakers cleaned up the content, the movie would appeal to a much wider audience.
(B, PC, LLL, V, S, DD, M) Light moral worldview involving good work ethic, importance of family, marriage, and honesty, but with some political correctness; about 76 obscenities (including 46 “f” words), five profanities and giving the middle finger; light violence when man sprayed with mace; sexual innuendos, sexual dialogue, homosexual references, and self-abuse suggested; no nudity; no alcohol use; smoking and marijuana use; and, lying for corporate advancement, jealousy, political correctness.
THE PROMOTION is the tale of two mid-level Chicago supermarket managers, Doug (played by Sean William Scott) and Richard (played by John C. Reilly), who ruthlessly compete for a coveted managerial post at a new store location. At first, Doug and Richard could not be more different, but going head-to-head in a contest of wits and wills reveals how they have more in common than they once suspected.
The story itself is quite simple. Two guys who are equally qualified for the position of Store Manager at a new location vie for that spot by trying to impress the executives who will make the decision. Doug and Richard are both “good” guys who are motivated by a chance to improve their lifestyles and provide for their families. Doug wants to prevent his wife, Jen, from having to take on a second job. Richard wants to make the best life for his wife and child as they adjust to the move from Canada to the United States. Doug’s greatest challenge is maintaining his integrity, since he feels he must resort to lying in order to get the promotion. He lies to his wife about whether or not he’ll get the job and lies to his boss in order to make himself look better than Richard in the competition for the manager’s position. Richard faces his past demons of drug addiction as he tries to handle the stress of proving himself the man for the job and protecting his sometimes-shaky relationship with his wife. There are no real surprises in the movie, only what one would expect two men with “moderate” morals to do in order to further their careers.
The fact that this is Steve Conrad’s first directing experience is regrettably quite obvious. The cinematography, the camera moves and angles are very basic and nothing unique at all. The movie seems to be on a “B” budget with few locations and very simple set design on the locations that were used. It even looks as though the movie stock was changed halfway through the movie, with the first 45 minutes appearing as though they were shot on a low budget camera and/or movie type. There is also a lot of “dead time” in the movie and departures from the storyline. They slow the pace and come close to boring the viewers. Advertising itself as a “comedy” is also a bit of a reach. Scott and Reilly have each given noteworthy performances in several previous hit comedies, but fail to impress as much in THE PROMOTION.
The movie does communicate a positive, moral message of honesty being the right way to live as well as a strong work ethic. The most objectionable part of the movie is the extreme use of foul language, with the “f word” being used 46 times! There is also quite a bit of sexual dialogue and suggestive comments, though no actual sexual activity or promiscuity shown. A character smokes marijuana, but at least it is seen as a weakness and not glorified at all.
Overall, THE PROMOTION is an average movie. Had the writer/director made a wiser decision and “cleaned up” the movie, it would appeal to a much wider audience and presented a relatively moderate moral message.