While some see this movie as a dark comedy addressing war in Iraq and the dot com bubble burst, I prefer to see it as a reminder that a person should be valued only based on his/her professional capacity, wealth or socialibity, but rather based on his/her kindness to others.

Sure, at first we may laugh at how Salman (played by Scott Prendergast), being incapable of staying at his jobs finally gets a job as a mascot to an ailing dot com company. His job is to hand out flyers while having to wear a huge blue costume (I wonder if the blue mascot design got the inspiration from Marvin the paranoid android whose feels that life is depressing). For some, such job may look silly, but for a person like Salman, it’s not. At least it gets him money after all, although being stuck in the costume all day surely not an enjoyable experience.

Aside from doing his job as a mascot, Salman must also babysit his brother’s kids. One of which even threatening to kill him. His sister-in-law, Leslie (played by Lisa Kudrow) had no choice but to ask Salman because she herself must work to support the family while waiting for his husband (Salman’s brother) to return from a tour of duty in Iraq. Eventually, one day while at the office, Salman discovered that Leslie is involved in an affair with her boss.

This is a great comedy that does not exploit silly slapstick to ignite laughter. Actually, everything that happens in the movie is quite natural. We may laugh at Salman misfortunes, but such things are there in our society and I bet that people like Salman don’t think that their misfortunes are supposed to be laughed at. This very natural story is what makes me love this movie. It tries to tell us that mediocrity happens, but it does not mean that a mediocre person is useless and deserved to be a laughing stock. A person like Salman excels in one thing only, but it’s the most important trait that everyone should have: kindness.

Although it has a simple storyline, it’s great enough to watch. In addition, Scott Prendergast did very well portraying Salman. Barely smiling, seemingly hopeless, but managed to endure. Scott’s play looked very natural and this may not be the same had the role was given to someone else (like Adam Sandler, for example). Lisa Kudrow also equally good in portraying a desperate wife, trying to support two kids while her husband is somewhere in Iraq who may or may not survive the tour. Imagine the uncertainty felt every day that she may suddenly receive the bad news. Her affair with her boss may not be justifiable, but it was likely driven by her frustration.

Overall, it is more like a drama rather than a comedy, but it’s up to the audience where they want to put it. Great plot and fine performance made this film one of my favorites.

Final rating: 10.0

Directed by Scott Prendergast
Written by Scott Prendergast
Starring: Scott Prendergast, Lisa Kudrow, Christine Taylor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Conchata Ferrell, Teri Garr, Chirs Parnell, Angela Sarafyan
Release year: 2007
IMDB Rating: 6.7

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