One job, two candidates, you know the drill, especially when the offer is one that comes with a better job title, and with it, better renumeration, to move upwards in the corporate ladder, and to gain some foothold in keeping up with the Joneses.
The last time I watched a film primarily set in a supermarket was Cashback, and that became one of my favourite films of last year. Alas The Promotion, written and directed by Steve Conrad, had similar flair in telling the story of one man's struggle for economic betterment, but somehow lacked enough depth in material to what is essentially a tired formula. You know, the one-upmanship that two parties having a go at each other, pulling no punches in order to get ahead. Strangely enough, these acts of sabotage are few and far between, and didn't come off as either funny or essential, but more like that of desperation.
Seann William Scott can never seem to be able to break out from his jock role, though his Doug Stauber tried hard to carry the movie through by sharing with the audience his hopes and dreams, of being stuck in a dead end routine job with an incompetent boss. Opportunity arose from his employer's franchise opening another outlet, and therein lies his chance for promotion, better salary, and to move out of his current home next door to banjo-merry-makers so that he can make love to his wife Jen (Jenna Fischer) in peace.
With opportunity comes obstacle, and is personified by John C. Reilly's Richard Welhner from the supermarket's sister company in Canada, and he too is eying that job so that he can feed his family and provide them the nice to haves like various enrichment classes. He has help from a self-help audio book, and honestly, I think those books are a load of bull, and had already made first cut of your money through your purchase of it.
Anyway, the crux of the movie laid in the two of them second guessing each other's intention, but all the while when trying to sabotage one another, seem to have conscience prick them all the time, which led to half-hearted attempts without following through. In fact, they seem to pull off more stunts that backfire on themselves, rather than at the other person. It portrays that we are all sensible creatures, and we need not resort to low down and cheap tricks to derail another's rice bowl. That said though the story's very much in lala-land, because the real world out there, just isn't so kind, if at all.
Just about everything's predictable in the movie where it's about the length anyone would go to bring home the bacon. Nothing fancy in the movie, but it does have a certain honest though mundane feel about it.