Employee Of The Month

Crimes:

• Further perpetuating Dane Cook's multimedia assault of affable mediocrity

• Giving the world, in the form of Cook, a second-rate version of second-rate leading man Ryan Reynolds

• Setting the film in a Costco, then squandering opportunities for satire

Defenders: Cook and director/co-writer Greg Coolidge

Tone of commentary: Like Cook's stand-up: breezy, affable, high-energy, and full of really lame jokes unimproved by his energetic delivery. Also like Cook's stand-up, it's candid in a too-much-information sort of way, as when Cook talks about getting the kind of erections "that hurt" from looking at "titty-bags" on the set one day. Cook helps fill awkward silences by laughing enthusiastically at his own jokes, both onscreen and off. Coolidge notes, with slightly strained graciousness, that the cast improvised many of the film's funniest lines. In a rare moment of veiled acrimony, though, he dismisses his co-screenwriters as having written the "teen sex comedy" version of the script. 

What went wrong: Coolidge initially wanted Cook for the Dax Shepard villain role, until Cook convinced him he could be a leading man America would fall in love with. Also, the film crew could only use their central Costco location for nine and a half hours a day, instead of the intended 12 hours.

Comments on the cast: Kudos fly in every direction: Even anonymous extras are singled out for praise. Cook concedes that he, Harland Williams, and Andy Dick could "get a little crazy," but the commentators hint that Dick didn't enter a nightmare spiral of booze and pills until five weeks into filming.

Inevitable dash of pretension: Cook marvels unironically that Coolidge was somehow able to "hold it together" in spite of the inhuman pressure of making this film. Coolidge gushes that the cast "elevated" the script to that mythical "next level" through their comic genius.

Commentary in a nutshell: "My hair was rockin' that day!" goes a typical bit of Cook's high-energy, low-substance, hair-obsessed banter. Cook later expands on this sentiment by offering a "shout-out" to his hairdresser for "working the coif," adding "girl!"