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  • I wasn't expecting too much with this one, but was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great to see a movie go in a direction that is not expected, and if anyone tells you this movie is predictable, they are more than likely lying. Matt Dillon has turned into a solid actor these days, without being the marquee attraction of some lesser actors.

    Applegate and Zahn also add some weight to the movie, and a must see confrontation with the boss is a highlight (who wouldn't want to do that). Highly recommended, if not at the cinema it will make a great Sunday night in on DVD!
  • This movie is really pretty damn good right up until the last 10 minutes where we really spin out into ridiculous attempts to tie up every single plot string in under 10 minutes. The pace at which all the story lines come to an end is jarring to say the least and very unrealistic, improbable and - a gyp.

    But I would recommend this movie because right up until that point it's a fun ride with great chemistry and casting of all the players. Dillon is a bank employee hoping for a raise on his upcoming review and looking forward to marrying his live-in girlfriend. This feels like an indie film but it's a bit too clever clever for it's own good.

    Steve Zahn has some really awesome moments in this movie when he is ripping on everyone within talking distance of his character. His delivery was perfect. You will notice one of the actors from Kids in The Hall fame- his part matches what he is good at, that was an excellent casting choice as well.

    So even though the script fumbles at the end, all the other parts of the movie work well.
  • Sunday night I was at a friends house playing cards, he popped in a movie he rented, none of us had ever heard of it, he said he got it because on the box it mentioned something about being 'from the producers of Strangers with Candy' & we're all fans of that darkly-odd kind of humor. It was kinda funny, in-fact really funny in some parts. I read that one reviewer here was 'dissapointed' but I think that's because he was told (ie: expecting) it to be more like 'Office Space'. I wouldn't compare it to that, except that it's about a guy who just stops caring about his job & his life starts to unravel. To me it was more like 'Saving Silverman' or 'One night at Mcools', but it was allowed to be a bit more 'Suicide Kings'-like in its gritty darkness mixed with humor. ( Some people don't like it when a movie makes a sharp-cut from surreal & silly humor to dark & gritty violence in the span of a few beats, but I think its fine, I *like that* I think it keeps the viewer's attention when it takes quick unexpected turns like that, but thats just me.) The only person from Strangers with Candy that I recognized was Stu ( the guy who has a beef ) but aside from wanting to see more SWC cast or writers, I enjoyed it & will rent it again and show it to others who like that kind of cynical-humor.

    Matt Dillion was great in this, as he was in 'drugstore cowboy' 'mcools' & 'to die for'...his voice-over narration really set the tone for the whole story that was being told.
  • The film has its moments. It's got a rather nice plot. It's first-person commentary is interesting. Matt Dillon and Christina Applegate have both done quite well. The sequence before the bank robbery was very stylish and funny. It's sound editing is perhaps below average but the music is okay.

    It's got endless plot twists in the end. After the first major twist I said to myself "Well, that's clever..." and after the second I was like "Wow! never saw this coming" and the twists continued on to a point where I got rather irritated. Plot twists are supposed to offer surprise elements in a story to see it from an entirely different point of view. But in this film, surprise is stripped off.
  • dgemini5 January 2005
    What a surprise! I can't figure out why I had not heard or read anything about this movie when it came out, because it was great. The whole thing was completely unexpected and had a sense of humor about itself, almost being a kind of self-parody. The characters were well fleshed out and the story took such surprising and hilarious turns. This is a movie I could watch many times and will definitely recommend it to friends. I won't say anything about the plot because part of the reason its so much fun is because its so unexpected. But instead of resorting to cheap unnecessary plot contrivances for the twists and turns(like Fight Club, for example!), it actually does have continuity, and we get the joke. Its just too bad this film didn't get more attention and advertising!
  • David Walsh (Matt Dillon) is a banking officer, who's life seems to go terribly wrong when his job review sandbags him and instead of being made employee of the month, he's fired. To make matters worst after work his fiancée, Sara Goodwin (Christina Applegate) confronts him with his infidelity, ends their relationship and tosses him out on the street. How could things get any worse (or better)? His friend Jack seems to think things are finally moving in the right direction, all David needs now is a night of drinking, a handgun, and he'll be ready for some payback, unless a bank robbery interferes with his plans.

    The acting is very good, and in some scenes great, with Steve Zahn (Jack) stealing most of the scenes he's in. Peter Jason is also outstanding as Mr. Gartin the tough Bank VP. The humour is very black, and the dialog well written. From the opening scene and repeatedly during the film, the idea that life is an illusion is mentioned. But it's not until several unforeseen plot twists later that the viewer realizes that two separate plots have been simultaneously unfolding, or maybe not.

    If you like any of the cast, dark humour, good acting, a plot with twists and turns, then this is a little gem you should try out.
  • Beyond that point, it's Wild Things.

    This is a fantastic flick with incredible acting on all fronts. . .for the first hour and 28 minutes. Beyond that, it's an all-out race to the bottom. From a tale of a man breaking down in the style of Falling Down - with an acting prowess nearly equal to that of Michael Douglas - it becomes a tale of who can screw who the most. Within the span of three minutes, these characters change themselves from tortured souls dealing with life's unfairness into caricatures of every gang-crime movie that had the bad sense to be put on film. Either the writer for the first ninety five percent of the film was fired, or suffered a psychotic breakdown. We placed this movie on our Netflix queue by mistake (meant to request the more recent Dane Cook flick - never you mind what that says about our cinematic tastes) and were pleasantly surprised. . .right up until the end.
  • David Walsh (Matt Dillon) has a perfect life: a gorgeous fiancée, Sarah Goodwin (Christina Applegate); a beautiful house; a fancy car; a job of manager in a bank. On the day he expects to be elected "The Employee of the Month", he is fired; Sarah finds that he had an affair with his colleague Wendy (Andrea Bendwald) and calls off their engagement; and a hooker sent by his friend Jack (Steve Zahn) to stay with him in a motel steals his car. On the next day, in his farewell, there is a heist in the bank and he is abducted. But his fate before reaching Nirvana has not finished yet.

    While watching "Employee of the Month", I was feeling the story very unpleasant, mostly because of the disgusting character of Jack, and also because of the jinx of David. But suddenly, the story twists with an outrageous and surprising plot point, becoming the perfect bad day of David a masterpiece of black comedy. When I first saw Matt Dillon partially burnt in the beginning of the movie, I believed the actor had had some accident, and only later it was disclosed that the scars were part of his character. The unknown Andrea Bendwald is really a very beautiful woman and has an important participation in the conclusion of the story, inclusive along the credits. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "O Dia Perfeito" ("The Perfect Day")
  • jotix10012 July 2005
    Mitch Rouse's "Employee of the Month" was a good discovery. Not having seen it when it was released, we took a chance at it the other night, and it paid off. Mr. Rouse is a man that has worked extensively on television, as well as his co-screen writer, Jay Leggett, who also has a minor role in the film. These men prove they can write and keep their public involved.

    The start of the film shows David and Sara toasting to their happiness, something that will be broken in the course of the movie. On the surface, we are watching David at his bank job. He seems to be successful and going places, until he receives the bad news from the bank's director that he is being fired because of his poor performance, when all indicates he is a good employee. On top of that, Sara, who is seen with her parents at a dinner in a restaurant, proceeds to tell him she is walking out on him because she has found out he is having an affair with Wendy, another bank employee, and a friend. How much can a guy take?

    The film then changes as David decides to take things into his own hands seeking justice. What we are not prepared for is for the deception on most of the people around, and even David seems to be guided by greed. The surprise ending, in retrospect, seems to make a lot of sense because David is outsmarted by the same ones we didn't have a clue were involved, at all.

    Matt Dillon is a good actor to watch. He carries the film because he is the most interesting character of all the ones we meet in the film. Steve Zahn, as the crazy Jack, does amazing things. Christina Applegate and Andrea Bendewald are also good as the duplicitous women who seem to have figured out their men and what make them tick.

    The film is great fun. Forget the expectations and just have a good time.
  • I found this movie to be very watchable and entertaining, but certainly wouldn't bill it as a comedy, and I don't think that's how it was intended. Parts are mildly amusing, but there's more suspense and drama than anything else.

    The ending contains some twists and turns that you probably won't see coming, but won't be completely surprised at either. Don't immediately turn it off at what you believe to be the end, or you'll miss some of the missing pieces.

    Some users have commented about the level of violence in this film, but I can't recall any particularly gruesome scenes. Perhaps I've been conditioned by the likes of films such as "Irreversible" and "Goodfellas".

    Anyway, I think you'll find this a worthwhile rental. If not, please blame one of the other positive reviews, as I have a very delicate psyche.

    Bill
  • I have to admit that after about 20 minutes of this movie I was this close to just turning it off and moving on to The Grudge, which I watched right afterwards. Man, I'm glad I didn't, though, because this movie goes from pretty boring to not so bad to pretty good to VERY good. It's odd that this film has been so completely overlooked by critics and denounced by IMDb reviewers, who either understood how well-made this movie is (especially the script, which is brilliant) or it went completely over their heads and they couldn't wait to log on and berate the film as a total failure.

    One reviewer calls the movie "the dregs," but then again this genius also gave Memento (probably one of the three best films released in 2000) a vote of 3/10, so utter cluelessness coming from this person is hardly lightning out of a clear sky for unexpectedness. Another user gave it a lukewarm response, but also called Lost In Translation a real yawner, American History X "waaaaaaaay overrated," A.I. "the most boring movie I've ever slept through," and the absolutely ridiculous 2003 Texas Chainsaw remake "one of the better slasher flicks" (!!).

    Now, I hesitate to call this last user clueless, because he really seems like a nice guy (I'm sure he's a good father as well), but his list of reviews betrays the fact that he may be wired completely backwards when it comes to movies. The Texas Chainsaw remake better than A.I., Lost in Translation, and American History X?? PLEASE.

    Now, I normally don't go on this much about what other people have to say about any given movie. Notice that I'm not getting into the two external reviews posted for the film (Scott Weinberg and Movie House Commentary, at the time of this writing), which is amazing because they are both so completely wrong that it's difficult not to elaborate on my incredulous disbelief.

    It's sad that when a movie comes along that is actually well-written, so many people can't resist comparing it to a similar film that came out previously, completely ignoring the new film's good qualities and simply writing it off as a rip-off. This happened a lot with the wonderful comedy Runaway Bride, about which so many people immediately said things like "You know, I've seen this movie before...When it was called Pretty Woman" like it just absolutely must make them the cleverest person on earth. Personally, when I see a movie that looks stupid but turns out to be a very well-made thriller (like Wild Things), I don't generally complain when a similar movie comes along, as long as it is also well-made and stands on its own, and Employee of the Month certainly does that.

    There are scenes in the movie that I thoroughly disliked, such as some stupid sex jokes, too much profanity, and anything involving dead people and jewelry, but Steve Zahn is great in his role, Matt Dillon gives a wonderful performance in a well-written character, and the plot twists start small and then get faster and faster and by the time they're done you're halfway through the end credits.

    People are really quick to criticize the twists in this movie. The twists are either too predictable or too unpredictable or there are too many of them or they're dumb or some other such nonsense. When the twists first started I was impressed by where the movie was going, because I thought it was going to be something completely different, but by the last one the movie had made very clear that many of the twists were done with tongue firmly in cheek, that you were meant to have a good time. This movie is all in good fun, and while it slips up by getting a little too vulgar for its own good from time to time, it most definitely deserves to be compared to Office Space, because it is certainly one of the great dark comedies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So you want some quotable quotes for the office to describe the various jerks we have to work with or for? See this movie.

    You want some great lines from some good actors: notice Miss Office, playing a hooker, as she explains to Matt the difference between love and f*cking: love is something you feel for another and f*cking is something you do. And then she steals his car. But all done SO sweetly.

    As for the minister's wife? Sitting there with this compassionate smile on her face all through dinner: then you find out she's lit to the gills. What a great job she did!!!

    As Matt Dillon plays the good guy, the bad guy, the funny guy, the lover and the killer in all his films, in this film, he plays all those characters. To watch him soulfully do his thing, whether it's at work where he schmoozes up all the folks and makes them feel good BEFORE he's fired and then how he lays it to them AFTER he's fired is an inspiring thing to see. Working in a Stepford Wife corporation myself, it's great to see all these stereotypes that I deal with daily, and probably so do you. Ironically, when he tells these folks the truth, he's doing them more of a favor than when he panders to them.

    When Matt tells the pregnant woman to go home, you know something is up and he's going to be in the middle of it. Of course, the end tells you that the entire thing is a fantasy, but in the meantime you really enjoy the ride.

    Do NOT turn off the movie after the 'show' is over. As the credits go rolling by, you'll see scenes that explain all the little quirks that weren't explained in the movie. And for the spoiler? ********************************************************************* Matt Dillon does not play a dead guy well. I think I saw either his eye flicker, or his body twitch, but he was good in the bag. See it. It's hilarious and satisfying.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was on the way to give this movie a 7 or 8, and then the writer went twist-crazy at the end. This reminded me a bit of Fight Club, in that the twisting went too far for credibility to survive. In this case, some of the earlier scenes just don't make sense after the plot is revealed at the end. But the film had some interesting moments, like the reading of the letter at dinner by Applegate - that was funny. And as usual, Steve Zahn does a First Class job of playing the quirky wacko. Zahn must be the first person a director thinks of when he sees this kind of part - Jack Black second. So it lost about two points in the last 5 minutes - I gave it a 6.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    At the outset, the film's premise is intriguing as we follow a day in the life of a bank executive (Matt Dillon) and his engagement to a woman who is the love of his life (Christina Applegate). Dillon's character David must cope with the sudden and shocking loss of both his job and his fiancée. Dillon has a winsome personality and is effective as the Everyman character. And the talented singer-dancer-actress Applegate seems perfectly cast as the fiancée.

    Unfortunately, the film's good idea is not fulfilled due to the gimmicky plotting, raunchy dialogue, and enormous holes in the script. For example, there is one scene outside a nightclub where David is taunted by two men. A fight ensues, and David pummels both of the men into the ground. Were the men killed? Was a police report filed about the incident? Or was this "scene" merely occurring in the imagination of David? The scene could have been deleted without missing a beat in the film.

    The screenplay for "Employee of the Month" seemed derivative of the popular TV series "Six Feet Under." In fact, Steve Zahn's character is a coroner just like the Fisher family in "Six Feet Under." He is also a vile character, both in his language and in the despicable acts of stealing watches, rings, and money from the corpses. While the story and dialogue of "Six Feet Under" are thoughtful and engaging, the scenes and language of "Employee of the Month" are distasteful and offensive.

    The film seemed almost like a rough draft, as opposed to a final, completed film. Hence the reliance on outtakes rolled through the final screen credits in order to fill in the gaps in the muddied script. The fine performances of Dillon and Applegate were wasted.
  • This film portrays a few days in the life of David Walsh (Matt Dillon). Getting ready for a big performance review at the bank he works at, one where he expects an advancement, he learns that the Bank's manager thinks his work habits are well below professional and is officially terminated.

    An interesting spiral of events occurs from that point. His fiancée (Christine Applegate) discovers that he has been sleeping with her best friend. A great scene occurs where this information is revealed to the viewer. Picture this: Dillon arrives "late" to a dinner meeting with his fiancée and her parents. She reads a letter regarding her concerns with his lack of faithfulness. Dillon does a great job showing his discomfort with the content and tone of the letter. The plot continues to spiral, taking interesting turns, some surprising, some not.

    Overall, I found the movie to be okay. If I did recommend it to a friend, it would not be for the movie as a whole, but for some of the particular scenes. In certain scenes, Steve Zahn, Matt Dillon and Christine Applegate give great performances. I found myself laughing and wondering what was going to happen next. But I sensed that the plot was a bit rushed and did not connect the various events together that well. This is why I gave it a 5/10. Regardless of the low grade, check it out for some great scenes and a good soundtrack.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this movie last night because I thought I was about to watch the "Employee of the Month" movie with Jessica Simpson and Dane Cook in it. As soon as I realized it wasn't the same movie I initially thought maybe the wrong movie was placed in the cover, etc. Anyway, I actually enjoyed this movie. I love comedy's and I love movies that actually have a decent plot and this one did. I tend to shy away from movies that have something take place and then as the actor/actress snaps out of their dream/funk the real deal takes place. This movie isn't full of these, but does contain a few and it didn't disrupt the movie at all. It also keeps you guessing in a way and it's pretty easy to figure out at the end. Even the final twist you know who the person is walking up to the car. Or at least you should! I checked spoiler even though I don't think I leaked anything, but really not sure what the guidelines are here. Also, I probably could have ranked the movie a bit higher.
  • I bought this movie without ever having seen it, and I am quite pleased with my purchase. I thought that it would be an "Office Space" knock-off, but I was completely wrong. Without giving much away, I can say that this is an edgy and quirky film against the corporate world, and the "American Dream" in general. The main character's struggle to decide whether to stay in the system or drop out is the main conflict of the movie, but it's the delightfully twisted characters and situations that round out the movie that make this a worthwhile view. It's easy to dismiss this film as "pseudo-intellectual," but I have found it one of the more stimulating films in my collection.
  • A fascinating film. Aomething of a fascinating quality in the way that it is genuinely unpredictable. It doesn't succumb to any simple stereotypes that come to my mind, is hard to place into any genre, but I'd almost have to suggest American Art-house somehow. A blend of the Hollywood with the experimentally unusual.

    It keeps you hanging in there the whole way wondering what the hell is going on, and by the end of it you're still wondering ... not that the ending is ambiguous or mysterious, it's just anything but what you'd have expected and just barely plausible enough that you find it worth thinking about how and when and if it is indeed halfway plausible and just who is actually using whom when, and how and how long this whole scheme of things had been going on - clearly from the very first scene, but before that even ...

    Has to be one of the better films I've seen recently! I can't really understand why I'd never heard of it before ...
  • thanny-24 March 2005
    This is a great movie. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the plot twists. And just around the middle of it you think, oh, now I know, this is going in this vein, but no ... another twist. And when you think that this is finally heading to a happy end .. you are being surprised again .. but not final time. The final surprise is going to await you just few mins before the end of the movie. I enjoyed the film quite a lot, the dialogues are entertaining and the plot is far from ordinary.

    Matt Dillon is doing perfect job in this movie, and watch for Steve Zahn's comments. And, btw, you will never look at coroners the same way after watching this.

    This is not a kind of movie you will tell your grandchildren about, but it will provide for a great weekend amusement and will give you great topic to dash with in the canteen when having a break. Especially works when working in a bank.
  • In "Employee of the Month" a happily married, nice guy, dedicated bank worker (Dillon) has the worst day of his life. He's fired at the office and fired at home. Then, as the film appears to be taking you into another "postal" plot (think Michael Douglas in "Falling Down"), it does a U-turn and serves up a bunch of peculiar twists and turns before dying a slow death. A like it or hate it dark comedy with raunchy humor (think really bad Kevin Smith), "Employee of the Month" has its moments, most of which come from Dillon playing straight man to his grosser than gross buddy, Steve Zahn. However, those who have invested themselves in the characters will likely be annoyed by the last 20 minutes when the plot sorts itself out in what comes off like just so many brain farts. Largely overlooked by the critics with a poor reception by the public, this little flick will play best with younger and less sophisticated adult audiences. (C+)
  • Wow, this is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. The character development was sooo well done by all the actors and we now all know that Matt Dillion can act! and Christina Applegate (sometimes) But yeah. I was blown away. This movie got me SO into it I could not stop watching it. it was awesome. It is not a "Pulp Fiction Wannabe" like the other person tried to say, nothing like that. This movie kicks! Go out and rent it or buy it, I can't say enough about the movie. I tell you, Matt Dillion is just riveting in this film, you can't take your eyes off him (literally) If your up for a good crime/comedy. Take this home today!
  • newleaf24 January 2005
    A huge snowstorm was predicted in my area, and the line at the video store was ridiculously long. While waiting to get to the checkout counter, I picked up this DVD and read the description. The woman in front of me said, "That's a very funny movie. I loved it." So, of course, I rented it.

    What a disappointment. I didn't laugh once. There were plenty of scenes that were downright offensive -- such as the coroner stealing jewelry from accident victims -- while adding nothing to the plot. It seems like no one could decide if this was supposed to be a comedy, a crime caper or a drama. No matter which one you were expecting, it didn't deliver.

    And yeah, you didn't see the ending coming, so what. This movie was so bad that the actors should consider themselves fortunate that I even stayed around to SEE the ending. More than once, I was tempted to turn it off.

    I agree with the previous comment. Anyone who compared this movie to "Office Space" must never have seen "Office Space." They're different in hundreds of ways, but most importantly, "Office Space" was worth seeing.

    Overall, it would have been more interesting to just watch the snowstorm out the window. It arrived just when the weatherman said it would, and it did not disappoint.
  • I had a good time watching the film and I appreciate the turns very much, but the music had me playing with the volume constantly. First straining for the voices and then cringing from the beating melodies, it is a poor audio mix. This, in no way, diminishes the plot's appealing complexity or the actors' delivery of it. That was all fine work.

    The journey through the film is an engaging ride. This movie fails in the myriads of twists in the end. I was spinning around at every one. All right, some I predicted and some I did not, but I suppose that is irrelevant. Perhaps it is also irrelevant that I was never fully satisfied with _any_ of the twists given. I am left wanting here and I do not wish to be.

    Then everything is explained in an overly much fashion. Did we really need to know so much now without knowing enough before? Leave us wanting instead here, eh?

    I did not feel a connection with the side characters in this film. They should've been brought more fully to life to make it work better here. Then maybe we'd have something (for sure we'd have a longer movie!). Maybe much of this film found its way to the editing room floor. I do not know, but it is missing something.

    Overall, this movie is worth watching, but it won't get top billing in my deeveedee collection. I can go no higher than 6 of 10.
  • In the age where teen senseless movies makes millions and Horror (Horrible) films can turn a trick with the same old tricks from the 80's it is good to have a good old fashion well written script. This film to me is of the jondra of SNATCH and FIGHT CLUB to which when you feel you have this movie figured out you don't. If you try to look at this film from an acting stand point you will be disappointed. Both Dillon and Zahn have given better performance elsewhere. However, the spins in this film including the ending will leave you wrung like a good washer should do for your laundry. Set back and watch this as a first date movie you will not be disappointed. Being married the surround sound and the DVD from Netflix did the trick.
  • A friend encouraged me to watch this movie. He compared it to "Office Space" which is one of my all time favorites! I was excited to get it home and watch it -- but much to my surprise... It sucked! After the first 30 minutes it had managed to completely lose me beyond the point of no return. I thought that the characters were over-saturated and the plot was extremely weak. So much more could have been done with this film! I will admit, the ending had "potential" but in no way helped excuse the fact that this may be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. What a shame to compare "Employee of the Month" to "Office Space" -- I will think twice about recommendations from my friend in the future!!!
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