The Promotion
The Promotion

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Certificate: 15 | Released: 2008 | Duration: 1 hr 25 mins | Director: Steve Conrad | Studio: High Fliers | Genres: Comedy

Living the American Dream, happily married Doug Stauber’s professional ambitions are about to be realised when his boss at the Chicago supermarket chain where he works assures him he's a shoo-in to manage a new neighbourhood store... Enter Richard Wehlner. He wants the job too. He has a better resume than Doug, has a wife and a daughter, and everybody agrees he’s an all-round terrific guy. Soon their professional competition explodes as the two men brave the corporate and psychological tests in their lust for t ... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

Living the American Dream, happily married Doug Stauber’s professional ambitions are about to be realised when his boss at the Chicago supermarket chain where he works assures him he's a shoo-in to manage a new neighbourhood store...

Enter Richard Wehlner. He wants the job too. He has a better resume than Doug, has a wife and a daughter, and everybody agrees he’s an all-round terrific guy. Soon their professional competition explodes as the two men brave the corporate and psychological tests in their lust for the dream promotion to supermarket store manager! Two guys. One job. No rules!

Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly fight over the same job.

A war of wills takes place between two men who want to run the same grocery store in this offbeat comedy from writer and director Steven Conrad. Doug (Seann William Scott) is a seemingly ordinary guy who works as the assistant manager of a supermarket near Chicago. When the owners of the market announce they're opening a new branch near Doug's neighborhood, he applies to become manager of the new store, and both he and his wife (Jenna Fischer) assume he's a shoo-in to get the job. But Richard (John C. Reilly), a gregarious recent hire at the store who has relocated to Illinois from Canada, announces he's also applying for the management position, and a keen rivalry develops between Doug and Richard even as they strive to act like friends on the surface. As the competition grows between the two, their personality flaws become increasingly evident -- Doug's short temper, Richard's history of drug abuse -- and when Richard's wife (Lili Taylor) leaves him, the contest starts taking an uncomfortable turn.

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Movie Reviews

Village Voice - 7.0/10 by Scott Foundas As to whether a smart comedy about work and family can itself succeed in a marketplace overrun by idiot farces about reluctant bridesmaids (male and female), shotgun Vegas weddings, and finding or losing Mr./Ms. Right . . . this remains to be seen.
ReelViews - 7.5/10 by James Berardinelli There are enough laughs to justify it being labeled as a comedy but a stronger storyline than one normally associates with this kind of film. It's an enjoyable diversion amidst the big guns of summer.
Portland Oregonian - 6.7/10 by M. E. Russell Conrad seems to have used whatever clout he got from "The Pursuit of Happyness" to fund something personal and sincere -- a story that's ultimately about victories of character and suppressing your worst impulses.
The A.V. Club - 6.7/10 by Nathan Rabin It's a sweet, human movie, if not an entirely successful one.
TV Guide - 7.5/10 by Ken Fox Conrad's script surprises at nearly every turn.
Chicago Tribune - 6.3/10 by Michael Phillips Then there's screenwriter Steve Conrad. He's interesting. He likes his protagonists to suffer a little en route to finding a better place, and not in the usual sitcomic ways.
Boston Globe - 6.3/10 by Wesley Morris A good, occasionally insightful workplace comedy.
Miami Herald - 7.5/10 by Rene Rodriguez The film's refusal to take its characters anything less than seriously makes it cut deeper than a Will Ferrell lampoon.

Movie Trivia

  • John C. Reilly, who plays Richard, also starred in Carnage and We Need To Talk About Kevin.
  • Seann William Scott went on to star in Goon.
  • Steve Conrad also wrote The Weather Man and The Pursuit Of Happyness.
  • Seann William Scott, who plays Doug, would phone writer/director Steve Conrad late at night. Steve taped the calls because they were so bizarre and funny.

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