The diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky

Tim Allen, Jim Belushi. Directed by John Pasquin.
Running Time: 98 mins
Rated: PG
Jose Scheffer is an average hard-working employee of a pharmaceutical company. That's the problem. There is nothing that distinguishes Joe from his colleagues. He is passed over for promotions, people don't remember his name and his wife left him for "someone more interesting".
In the car-park at work Joe is beaten into a space by Mark McKinnea (Patrick Warburton) a junior employee. A fight ensures and Joe is beaten and humiliated in front of his daughter. He wants a rematch. It's time for David to take on Goliath.

At the base of this sentimental film is the serious issue of work-place bullying, which adversely affects many ordinary worker's lives. It's such a pity this issue is raised in this slight, feel-good film. It deserves much more serious treatment than it gets here.

Valuing average and ordinary employees is also a critical issue for companies where loyalty often counts for nothing, but this, too, is only background noise in Joe Somebody.

The central question for this film is "what do I want" and once Joe can answer that he reorders his life around it, discovering his existence is anything but mundane.

Tim Allen as Joe and Jim Belushi as Chuck the Karate instructor give very pleasing performances. The humour here is not sidesplitting, just lots of smiles and smirks. The truth-teller in this film is the 12-year-old Natalie, precociously played by Hayden Panettiese. She seems to have more maturity than every other adult does in the cast.

Joe Somebody has some dull bits and flat scenes, but it's warm entertainment that families could choose to see together.


Richard Leonard SJ

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