Reviewed by: Kevin Burk
|Featuring:||Tim Allen, Julie Bowen, Kelly Lynch, Greg Germann, Patrick Warburton|
|Producer:||Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson, Matthew Gross, Ken Atchity, Brian Reilly|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
Joe Sheffer is your average, mild-mannered corporate employee who is also a good Dad, but doesn’t know who he is. So opens the latest Tim Allen comedy Joe Somebody, an entertaining though not particularly memorable film.
Joe works at a large pharmaceutical company producing audio-visual presentations, has a daughter who likes him a lot and an ex-wife who took off, leaving him for a handsome actor. Joe longs deep down to be noticed, to “sit at the cool kids’ table.” Problem is, Joe doesn’t get noticed, has been passed over for a promotion and doesn’t know where is life is going. All that seemingly changes when on “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” he gets beaten up by a big, macho bully who steals his reserved parking space. Joe decides to fight back and challenges the bully (Seinfeld’s Puddy—Patrick Warburton) to a rematch. Along the way, he takes some self-defense from a washed up action movie hero played by Jim Belushi and begins to develop a romantic relationship with “wellness coordinator”. Once everyone at work hears about the fight he becomes a “somebody”—coworkers greet him in the halls, he is promoted to an executive position, and gets to hang with the cool kids (in adult terms).
I took my ten year old to see this film and was somewhat disappointed. The film has a solid message about self-worth but is filled with plenty of swearing for a PG-rated film (even his daughter swears). As my son said, “would have been good but for all the cuss words.” So, I can only give this a qualified recommendation for Christian viewing. If you see it, ask your kids why Joe made the decision he did and discuss where we find our ultimate self-worth. Some of the jokes worked, some fell flat, and I smiled quite a few times. I felt this was a good story that needed a slightly better script and should have been better written for family viewing.