In this day and age many believe that it is important to be noticed in order to get ahead at work. While some people believe in keeping a low profile and letting their work do their talking, few can dispute that in order to get ahead, it is important that your supervisors know whom you are and have a good opinion of you and your work.
However, when a person works day in and day out in virtual obscurity, hoping that someday their efforts will pay off in the form of a promotion, tensions can mount. Such is the case of Joe Scheffer (Tim Allen) in the film “Joe Somebody” by director John Pasquin.
Joe is a likeable but quiet man who works in the video department of a Minnesota Pharmaceutical company. Joe had been promised a promotion a year ago, and he is still waiting for it to come through. Joe is also recently divorced, and his ex-wife Callie(Kelly Lynch) seems more concerned with dragging their daughter Natalie (Hayden Panettiere), to all manner of bizarre cultural events than dealing with issues brought on by the divorce. During a bring your daughter to work day, Joe, has an encounter with a nasty co-worker Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton) who has taken Joe’s ten year employee parking spot. Since Mark is not entitled to park in the lot, Joe questions him about it. In the confrontation that follows, Mark beats up Joe in full view of his daughter and many co-workers. This drives Joe into a depression, and he stops coming to work. Concerned that they could be facing a lawsuit, Joe’s company sends a wellness officer named Meg Harper (Julie Bowen), to Joe’s home to see what can be done to remedy the problem. Joe is reluctant at best to listen to what she has to say even though Joe has liked her from afar for a while. When asked the question “What do you want” Joe becomes puzzled and spends the day pondering the question and eventually decides that he wants a rematch with Mark to reclaim what he had taken from him. This decision creates a ripple effect at work as Joe suddenly becomes popular and is attending the executive club, parties, and Basketball games in the company seats. Joe also gets a promotion that he could only dream of and starts to get lavish clothing and cars to show his new found success. . While all should be right in Joe’s life, his daughter is unhappy with his decision to fight, as is Meg, which hinders a budding relationship for them.
Propelled with his new confidence and success, Joe recruits Chuck Scarett (James Belushi), a former action film star turned instructor to help him prepare for his pending match. While Chuck seems out of shape and swills beer like it is water, he knows his stuff and takes on the task of training Joe to defend himself.
What follows is an entertaining mix of a person living the life he has dreamed about and learning about the decisions a person makes in life and how they affect those around you.
Tim Allen is good in the role of Joe as he is a likeable everyman. His scenes with Julie Bowen are good and they have a very easy chemistry with one another. Though it is slow in some parts, Pasquin does a decent job with pacing and brings the film to an enjoyable if predictable outcome. Allen has worked with Pasquin in the past ranging from “Home Improvement” to “The Santa Claus” so there is a natural comfort between then and it shows in the films easy-going manner. While Not a comedy in the traditional sense, there are some laughs such as Joe performing Karaoke of The Backstreet Boys and Belushi almost steeling every scene that he is in.
While not a classic, “Joe Somebody” is an entertaining diversion and if you want a light film to just sit back and relax to, then this might just be your movie.