The Promotion

A Succinct Review for the Discerning Cinephile



Seeing the guy from American Pie and Dude, Where's My Car? face off with the guy from Magnolia and Boogie Nights is kind of bizarre and kind of excellent. Maybe kind of inevitable, too, with the way Seann William Scott's been pushing his career (artsy!) and the way John C. Reilly's been pushing his (comedy!). The Promotion stars Scott as Doug, an employee at a Chicagoland grocery store who's angling for a manager position, and it also stars Reilly as Richard, an employee at the same grocery store who's angling for the same position. Doug is married to that chick who plays Pam on The Office and wants to buy his first house, while Richard is married to Lili Taylor and is trying to provide for their daughter. The Promotion is a comedy, and while it's funny—usually in a sneaky, lo-fi sort of way—the best part is watching these two backstabby everymen go after each other with all the suppressed resentment and self-loathing they can muster. And while writer/director Steve Conrad (who wrote another darkly comic trek into middle American malaise, 2005's underrated The Weather Man) keeps things clever and sad and familiar, what's equally impressive is that The Promotion also might boast the best use of the Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle" ever. It might be worth seeing for that sequence alone, actually.

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The Promotion

Director: Steve Conrad

Writer: Steve Conrad

Producer: Jessika Borsiczky and Steven A. Jones

Cast: Seann William Scott, John C. Reilly, Gil Bellows, Fred Armisen, Nathan Adloff, Abby Allen, Chris Andre, Michael Armon, Gina Barber and Brent Allen Caputo


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