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The Promotion

3.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a hilarious take on life in mid-management hell, two junior managers at a Chicago grocery store vie for a coveted promotion, while their wives and their co-workers can only stand back and watch how far the one-upmanship will go to get the job done.

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In its low-key, offbeat way, The Promotion represents such a relief from the onslaught of raucous, anything-for-a-yok comedies that one can't help feeling grateful. This directorial debut of Steve Conrad, who wrote the Will Smith comedy-drama The Pursuit of Happyness, offers a lot to like--ingratiating performances, some funny scenes and knowing touches, and actually being about something: the real-world dilemmas that go with needing a job and having a hard time getting or hanging on to one. But "low-key" is a friendly way of saying the movie's a mite slack, and the trouble with "offbeat" is that you can't always be sure there is a beat. Chief location is a scuffed-up supermarket in an inner-city Chicago neighborhood "where customers come first, even customers who are nuts," and local youth in the parking lot bedevil shoppers and staff out of boredom. The assistant manager, Doug (Seann William Scott, far from Stiffler mode), aspires to be given charge of a new, slightly more upscale market the company is opening. He's encouraged to believe he has the inside track--except who's this guy Richard (John C. Reilly), freshly emigrated from Canada and suddenly competing for the promotion in a deferential, north-of-the-border fashion that can't even be called passive-aggressive?

The stars deliver shaded performances that never turn buffoonish--even Reilly's aria of comic desperation in which the phrase "bad apples" takes an irretrievably ruinous turn as he speaks with some black civic leaders. They get yeoman support from Jenna Fischer and Lili Taylor in the underwritten roles of the rivals' wives, Fred Armisen as the guys' feckless superior, Gil Bellows as a psychobabbly corporate exec, and Jason Bateman in a cameo as a motivational speaker working a company picnic. --Richard T. Jameson


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Seann William Scott, John C. Reilly, Chris Conrad, Rick Gonzalez, Adrian Martinez
  • Directors: Steve Conrad
  • Writers: Steve Conrad
  • Producers: Ben Ormand, Bob Weinstein, Christina Varotsis, Harvey Weinstein, Jessika Borsiczky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AR0CUK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Promotion" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. E VINE VOICE on November 1, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Doug Stauber (Seann William Scott) and Richard Wehlner (John C. Reilly) find themselves competing for the same managerial position. Where most films would have one clearly likable character pitted against another nefarious one, this work takes no such short-cut. Herein resides the beauty of this piece. The Promotion is as much a drama as it is a comedy.

Just a short caveat: This is not your typical comedy, so the exposition may throw you off. Nonetheless, after the first ten minutes the film's playfulness begins to peek through ... and by the twenty-minute mark, the viewer is thoroughly engrossed. So, just let go of all assumptions and let Conrad (the director) guide your feelings.

At times, this piece is genuinely hysterical: the comment-cards, the shopping-cart gag, the parking-lot gangs ... all funny. At other times, it's deliberately uncomfortable: both men need this advancement, both men have families, both have our sympathies. The moments of tension are fairly intense. The betrayals are almost heart-crushing. But even in its darkest moments (there are a few), the viewer never wants to abandon the film. Its complexity is what makes this work so appealing!

Hey, I knew it was a great film when I heard Public Image Limited on the soundtrack (just had to say that).
Read more ›
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Wow! It has been a LONG time since I have seen such a clever, touching, absolutely hilarious movie! Bravo to Seann William Scott. I didn't know he had it in him. John C. Reilly, as usual, does not disappoint. My first introduction to him came with "Boogie Nights," and everytime I've seen him since I have been in awe of him. This movie is more than worth it!!!!
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I saw this piece at the Jacksonville Film Festival. I enjoyed the film, I thought it was cleverly written and before I noticed the review on the website, I thought they used the F-word very well. Then I went on their site and noticed the previews mentioned the same opinion, anyways, Seann William Scott is definitely not type cast and John C. Riley is an extremely talented focus actor. I enjoyed watching this in the theater and I will be renting it tonight!

thanks,
Nic Christie
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Seann William Scott is excellent in this movie. John C Reilly & Jenna Fischer are underused. Also Lili Taylor's Scottish accent, is one of the worst I have ever heard!! ON an overall opinion though, the movie is a nice tale about one man's efforts to better himself, not only for himself, but for the sake of his family. Scott's on sccreen chemistry with Reilly, really makes this movie work.
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Format: DVD
A lot of familiar faces keep popping up in the course of "The Promotion," a charming indie comedy set in the outskirts of Chicago.

The ever-endearing Seann William Scott (Stifler from the "American Pie" series) plays Doug Stauber, an assistant manager at a grocery store who's having trouble controlling not only his own subordinates but the obnoxious gang members who seem to have taken up residence in the parking lot and spend their time harassing the shoppers. When Doug learns that a new franchise is opening soon in the area, he's assured by his current boss that he's a "shoo-in" for the position of manager there - until, that is, Richard Wehlner, a native of Canada, moves to town and becomes Doug's key rival for the spot.

Given the premise, "The Promotion" could easily have devolved into one of those broad, lowest-common-denominator farces, filled with obvious sight-gags and over-the-top slapstick. Instead, thanks to a restrained script and subtle direction by Steven Conrad, the movie becomes a genial and gently amusing tale of two equally likable people who are just trying to move ahead a little in the tightly circumscribed world in which they live. Doug and Richard aren't asking for fame and fortune, just a little recognition that they're doing a good job with the resources that have been handed to them. That they are forced to tear one another down in order to achieve that recognition is what gives the movie its poignancy and soul. The movie, thus, becomes that rare tale about competition and rivalry where no one is a villain.

In addition to the wonderful lead actors, the cast includes Fred Armisen ("SNL"), Jenna Fischer ("The Office"), Lili Taylor ("Six Feet Under") and Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development").

Give this one a chance; it will grow on you.
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The 2 lead actors work well together. The compliment each others style. Its worth a watch, it explains the reasons why some people behave the way they do in the work place. Both actors have chosen better films though.
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A nice mix of satire, drama and silliness you've come to expect from the comedic talents of Scott and Reilly. There are only a couple of real laugh-out-loud moments, but in all, I'm happy with the purchase and would gladly watch it again :)
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