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Copyright 1999-2001 3BlackChicks Enterprises™. All Rights Reserved.

Bams' review of
Joe Somebody


Joe Somebody (2001)
Rated PG; running time 108 minutes
Genre: Comedy
Seen at: Celebration Cinema (Lansing, Michigan)
Official site:
IMDB site:
Written by: John Scott Shepherd
Directed by: John Pasquin
Cast: Tim Allen, Julie Bowen, Kelly Lynch, Greg Germann, Hayden Panettiere, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Ken Marino, Wolfgang Bodison

Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2001

(click here to skip to this movie's rating)

If I told you that Joe Somebody didn't completely Suck, would you believe that that was more or less a compliment?

THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
Life has dealt Joe Scheffer (Tim Allen) a raw deal. His boss doesn't respect him, his co-workers don't acknowledge him, and his ex-wife (Kelly Lynch) thinks nothing of flaunting her new actor boyfriend (Ken Marino) in front of him. But the final straw for Joe came when he got "bitch-slapped" by Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton), who Joe took issue with when Mark wrongfully stole Joe's company parking space. Humiliated in front of his co-workers and his cherished daughter Natalie (Hayden Panettiere), Joe vows to Get Froggy on Mark, by taking up martial arts training with Chuck Scarett (Jim Belushi), a has-been B-movie action star who promises to pump Joe up in ten easy lessons.

Since nobody on their job likes the bullying Mark, Joe suddenly becomes Big Man On Campus. Everyone loves the new Joe, from the office Warm Place To Put It, to Cabe (Wolfgang Bodison), an upper executive who invites Joe to share in on Executive Games. Actually, not everyone loves New Joe. Jeremy Callahan (Greg Germann), the slimy Human Relations Department head, is only stringing Joe along so that he doesn't sue the company; and idealistic HRD counselor Meg Harper (Julie Bowen) finds herself much more attracted to Old Nobody Joe than New And Improved Joe.

Really, except for one character that made my teeth hurt to watch, Joe Somebody wasn't that bad at all. In fact, there were many moments in Joe Somebody that really surprised me in their subtlety - a trait I never thought I'd attribute to a Tim "Santa Clause" Allen movie.

I'll admit it's probably my fault; I went to this show fully expecting to loathe it, to begrudge the irreplaceable time it took away from my life. So maybe my standards were lowered along with my expectations, who knows. All I can say is, in spite of my trepidations, I found myself enjoying this flick- and Tim Allen along with it, for the first time ever in a non-Toy Story movie.

Okay, so the plot was quite implausible, and the dialogue, ludicrous at times. A once-humiliated Joe suddenly becomes The Man just because he verbalized that he was looking for his nads again? uh huh. Employees known to have fought once, aren't fired - but instead are set up by management to fight again, on school grounds? hooookay. Jim Belushi as an ex-martial arts movie star? yeah, right. And okay, the movie's deficits were a big hump to overcome. But I tell you, I found myself charmed by Allen, even as I groaned about the huge plot holes, multiple red herrings, and lack of logical, linear character development for anyone except Joe.

In the end, I have to give Joe Somebody a tenuous stamp of approval, partially because compared to some of the other dreck passing for film these days, it didn't suck - completely. But mostly, I recommend this movie because I liked what Joe had to say about the state of his world - and when she spoke of how a person can stop chasing her dreams when the money's right, I liked what Meg said about the state of her world, too. At this junction in my life, the vocalization of their fears and dreams resonated deeply within me; and in this dog-eat-dog society we live in here in the U.S., I dare say it might resonate with many of my fellow citizens. If not, there's always Lord Of The Rings to watch, eh?

I was brought up in the ghetto in the Fabulous 70's. This means, generally, that I got my butt whupped - whupped, not whipped - on a regular basis, when I deserved it, as a learning tool. And I'm here to tell you: I Learned.

I long for the days way back when, when loving but strict parents who didn't spare the proverbial rod, weren't prosecuted for actually giving a damn enough about their sproggen to teach them through appropriate discipline. Because I swear I wanted to whup Hayden Panettiere's ass until she saw stars. Okay, I know, it was Natalie Scheffer, Panettiere's bratty character, that I wanted to whup. Shoot, I'd have to be pulled off that child if she was my kid. I'm overexaggerating of course [uh huh], but that smart-alecky, foul-mouthed, irritating character would make me get all Mama on her. And it wouldn't be any lame swat on the heinie, nuh uh; I'd go Old School, making her bring me the fat switch I cultivated, for just such purposes. I'll stop now before I launch into a tangential rant about zero tolerance, hypocrisy, and chickens coming home to roost. That way lies madness, and I have to go prepare for the firestorm of hate email that's sure to come from this current rant.

(ObTheBernieMacShow) And hey, America - that is, those of y'all sitting there aghast that I'd dare even consider raising my hand to little Buffy like that? Go 'head, call Child Endangerment on me. Like Big Mama use'ta say, "I'll give you change for the phone - after I finish whuppin' yo' behind".

I can't say that I'm happy to type up Yet Another "it's ok, but don't expect Hamlet" review after a year full of them; but giving props where props are due, I gotta prop Joe Somebody up there on the "it's ok, but don't expect Hamlet" shelf. My recommendation? Go watch your A-list flicks first, then check out ol' Joe.



But I swear, if I ever see Hayden Panettiere act the brat again, I'll do Damage.

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And that's the way I see it.

Rose "Bams" Cooper
3BlackChicks Review™
Copyright Rose Cooper, 2001
EMAIL:    ICQ: 7760005

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More 3BlackChicks...™ review(s) for this week:
(entertainment reviewed week of 12/21/01):
Bams' reviews:
The Majestic | Joe Somebody

The Diva's reviews:
How High

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