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Joe Somebody

Starring Tim Allen; Julie Bowen, Kelly Lynch, Greg Germann, Hayden Panettiere and Jim Belushi
Written by John Scott Shepherd
Directed by John Pasquin

IN SHORT: Not funny. [Rated PG for Language, Thematic Elements and Some Mild Violence. 105 minutes]

Joe Nebbish, er, Scheffer (Tim Allen) is the kind of guy we all know and ignore. It's not because of any ill feelings about the guy, it's just that he's instantly forgettable. This particular Joe runs the A-V department at STARKe Pharmaceuticals, a company whose faked television commercials are funnier in the half minute that they get than the entirety of this movie. When Joe gets slapped silly in the parking lot by company bully Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton), he demands satisfaction.

That's an old expression meaning he wants a second fight. Same place, one month later. In the meantime, the rest of the company decides that McKinney needs to have his trap pasted shut, and Joe becomes the hero for standing up to the hated bully -- even if all of his supporters are taking the three-to-one odds against. In the meantime, Joe is the toast of the Corp. He gets to hang out with the "real" executives at the private athletic club on the 13th floor. He has corporate groupies making eyes at him and gets a major promotion. Not to mention a new hair do. To prepare for the fight, Joe signs up for self-defense lessons with a slovenly martial arts instructor, Chuck Scarett (Jim Belushi). If Scarett's name rings a bell, it's because he starred in such B-movie blasts as Tom Sawyer Must Die . . .

When all the thought goes into behind the stars gags like that, it's a sure sign that something has gone frightfully wrong. What someone along the line seems to have forgotten is that most of us consider Tim Allen to be a funnyman. In Joe Somebody, he's a romantic lead with almost nothing funny to offer up. While his soon to be lady in waiting, Meg Harper (Julie Bowen) is cute as a button, all the advertising in the world isn't going to change romantic comedy to comic romance.

There's a weak subplot about Joe's freshly divorced ex, Callie (Kelly Lynch), her idiot actor boyfriend (Ken Marino) and tough as nails daughter Natalie (Hayden Panettiere). There's an even weaker, and humorless bit about Meg's chauvinist boss Jeremy (Greg Germann), his pathetic fantasy life and how it comes to impact Joe and his battle against McKinney.

On average, a first run movie ticket will runyou Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Joe Somebody, he would have paid . . .


A major disappointment. It isn't Allen that adds comedic spark to this flop. It's Belushi.

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