Combining Comedy and Unexpected Romance
A hilarious comedy set in the world of a warehouse store called SuperClub, Lionsgate and Tapestry's "Employee of the Month" tells the story of Zack, a slacker box-boy who tries to capture the heart of Amy, SuperClub's sexy new cashier, by winning the store's coveted Employee of the Month award. There's only one thing standing in Zack's way: seventeen-time winner Vince, the cocky head cashier who's also got Amy in his sights.
“The word on the street is that Amy only goes for the Employee of the Month,” explains writer/director Greg Coolidge. “When these two guys meet her, they both fall for her immediately, and the race is on. Whoever can become Employee of the Month will get the girl.”
Combining laugh-out-loud comedy and unexpected romance, "Employee of the Month" follows Zack's and Vince's ruthless - and often outrageous - game of one-upsmanship to the bitter end, in a world any American who shops for bulk items will recognize. “The world that "Employee of the Month" explores is loads of fun, and we've never seen it in a movie before,” says producer Andrew Panay of Tapestry Films. “Greg is a fantastic writer. The script itself was very dry and very funny with a host of quirky characters. It was exactly the kind of movie we like to make.”
While casting the film, Coolidge immediately considered stand-up comedian Dane Cook, his friend of six years, for the role of Zack. Coolidge and Cook had remained in touch ever since hitting it off at a Los Angeles party where both were screening short films they had directed. Cook recalls connecting with Coolidge immediately that night: “I said to him, `We're going to work together someday.' It just made sense. We both have this absurd sense of humor and we just got along really well.”
One of today's hottest stand-up comedians, Dane Cook has already had a 16-year career selling out shows around the globe; and he's poised to win new fans with a slate of upcoming film and television projects. In addition to “Tourgasm,” a recent HBO documentary that he produced and stars in, Cook stunned the record industry when his sophomore comedy album, “Retaliation,” debuted at Number 4 on the Billboard 200, making him the highest charting comedian in twenty-five years.
Says producer Andrew Panay, “Dane is not only incredibly funny, but he's a great actor and extremely charming. He already has such a huge fan base, and his career is about to explode. I'm looking forward to seeing the domino effect after this movie is released.”
When Coolidge contacted Cook about starring in "Employee of the Month", Cook jumped at the opportunity. “I think I called Greg twenty-four pages into the script,” he says. “I was laughing out loud. Greg had it all on the page, and I could see what he was going to allow me to do beyond that. I knew it would be right in my wheelhouse of comedy. A complete no-brainer.”
“The role of Zack really fits Dane's persona,” says Coolidge. “He's incredibly charming and he wins you over with his low-key manner. He's the perfect guy to play Zack.”
A quintessential slacker who's firmly out of touch with his ambitious, competitive side, Zack has been mired in his job for years, never having recovered from a setback in his past. But when SuperClub's beautiful new cashier, Amy, enters his life, Zack is inspired to better himself. “The situation with Amy reminds him that there are things worth fighting and striving for,” says Cook. “He starts to have a better relationship with himself and the idea that he can do his part, leave his mark, and move ahead.”
While his fan base knows him primarily for his work as a stand-up comic, "Employee of the Month" will certainly prove that Dane Cook is a viable, charismatic actor. “I think people are going to be surprised and impressed at how well Dane can act,” says producer Peter Abrams. “He's mature and focused. And he's the heart of the movie.”