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Joe Somebody

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Joe Somebody

Starring: Tim Allen, Kelly Lynch
Director: John Pasquin
Rated: PG
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: December 2001
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

John Pasquin's would-be comedy, JOE SOMEBODY, stars a badly miscast Tim Allen as Joe Scheffer, a Rocky Balboa of the cubical dwellers. Allen manages to be even worse here than he is in BIG TROUBLE, a very bad Disney comedy about terrorists who take a nuclear weapon on an airplane -- a movie that may never get its planned theatrical release given its subject matter.

An unbelievable story, JOE SOMEBODY concerns a man (Joe) who is slapped twice in his company's parking lot by another employee on "Take your daughter to work" day. When Joe, a video communications specialist, decides to challenge the other employee to a fighting rematch in the parking lot, Joe becomes an instant hero to everyone in the office. What company would be permitted to treat office violence thus?

Joe enlists the help of Chuck Scarett (James Belushi), a failed B-movie actor who now teaches martial arts between beer swigs. Joe's transformation under Chuck's tutelage is barely discernable. The biggest change occurs when Joe starts moussing his hair and stops wearing glasses. He's still a wimp, but, with his new look, he becomes a self-assured wimp.

Hayden Panettiere, Coach Yoast's daughter in REMEMBER THE TITANS, plays Joe's daughter Natalie, a gifted student, a budding playwright and a slightly rebellious 12-year-old. The recently divorced Joe has to endure his ex-wife's canonically obnoxious boyfriend.

The only part of the plot that works is a low grade romance between Joe and the corporate wellness leader, Meg Harper (Julie Bowen), who would really rather be a high school guidance counselor.

Although it isn't part of the main storyline, the movie does have one funny bit. There is a television commercial shown that advertises one of the drugs made by Joe's company. "Making you better than you really are" is the commercial's tag line. The long list of the drug's possible side-effects includes death. The movie itself is pretty deadly so maybe the television commercials for it should come with similar warnings.

JOE SOMEBODY runs 1:38. It is rated PG for "language, thematic elements and some mild violence" and would be acceptable for most kids.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, said that the unfunny movie was like a wet match that won't light. Giving it just one star, he said that he thought Allen was dull but Hayden Panettiere and Belushi were both good. He challenged his mother, who liked the movie, to name one good scene. He rejected all of her candidates as awful.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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