At 33, Doug Stauber is ready for a promotion. He's married, wants to buy a house, and is assistant manager at a Chicago supermarket that's building a new store in his neighborhood. His boss tells him he's a shoo-in to manage the new store, then, a rival appears - Richard Wehlner, transferred from Canada. Richard has a deeper resume than Doug, is really nice, has a wife and daughter, and wants the promotion to manager too. How should Doug behave toward Richard - as a friend, a colleague, a competitor, or an enemy? Richard, it seems, has demons and a past, but with the help of motivational tapes, he's resolved to succeed. Corporate and personal tests await the two men. Written by
"The Promotion" could easily have been written as a gross out comedy, in which case it could take it's place among the many failures of that overworked genre. Instead, it is a drama that includes amusing situations, none of which resort to slapstick for laughs. Sensitive performances by both Sean William Scott and John C. Reilly, add immeasurably to the film. There is a feeling that "I've been in situations like this myself". In the end the movie has a lot to say about honesty and relationships. Both main characters elicit sympathy, and the outcome of the supermarket promotion is in doubt until the final deciding interview. - MERK
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