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Joe Somebody (2001)

Someone just picked on the wrong nobody

Directed by:

John Pasquin

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 94 minutes

UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United States

Tim Allen stars as Joe Scheffer, an unappreciated video maker working for a massive pharmaceutical company. Passed over for promotion and generally overlooked, he has grown used to being one of the nobodies that other people push around. His life starts to look a little better when he meets Meg Harper (Julie Bowen), a friendly co-worker who is also the director of the company wellness program. However, things come to a head when office bully Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton) beats him up in the office car park, humiliating him in front of his daughter Natalie (Hayden Panattiere) on 'Bring your Daughter to Work Day'. McKinney is placed on suspension for his behaviour, but it is little consolation to Joe.

Shamed by the experience, he resolves to change himself and his life. He challenges McKinney to a rematch when the suspension is over. Word of the fight soon spreads through the office, and suddenly Joe finds himself the centre of attention – he is everybody's hero. He decides he had better sign up for some martial arts lessons, and wanders into the gym of faded B-movie action star Chuck Scarett (Jim Belushi). Life at the office gets better for him – he starts to socialise with his co-workers, and begins to ascend the corporate ladder. However, Meg learns that his promotion is not all that it seems, and he still has that upcoming fight to deal with.

This is a genial and uncomplicated comedy with few bad points, but few outstanding ones also. It doesn't always seem too sure whether it aiming at children or adults, and trying to please both markets doesn't always come off. However, it does have its funny moments, including the martial arts training Joe gets from Scarett, and the squash sequence will raise a few smiles. If there is anything particularly likeable about this movie it is the characters. For a change, the bully turns out to have more depth than is first apparent, the ex-wife isn't demonised, and Joe is not wholly incompetent at his job – in fact, many character clichés are avoided.

It's Got: Likeable characters effectively portrayed.

It Needs: To be a bit less cute and sweet.

DVD Extras The fight choreography documentary is an interesting addition. Extras: Commentary by director John Pasquin and producer Brian Reilly, Fight choreography, Deleted scenes, Trailer, Easter egg. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

My Girl, One Fine Day, The New Guy

Summary

Although this film contains little that is original, this is a genial and appealing comedy that everyone can relate to.

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