Variety - 12/17/2001
"...What makes this SOMEBODY something is Pasquin's deft touch and understanding with the material..."
Tim Allen reteams with director John Pasquin (THE SANTA CLAUSE) in JOE SOMEBODY. Allen stars as Joe Scheffer, a mild-mannered man who makes promotional videos for a Minneapolis pharmaceutical company. Joe is divorced and quietly unhappy until the office bully, Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton), punches him out in the company parking lot, in front of Joe's precocious young daughter (Hayden Panettiere of REMEMBER THE TITANS). The humiliated Joe sinks into such a deep depression that not even the flirtations of the company's pretty "wellness coordinator" (Julie Bowen) can rouse him. Joe decides that he has to restore his pride by challenging McKinney to a fight, and suddenly finds himself the most popular man in the office. Joe even hires a washed-up action movie star (Jim Belushi in a hilariously grizzled performance) to teach him martial arts. He soon finds that he has to weigh the allure of his newfound popularity against the love and respect of those who liked him the way he was. Screenwriter John Scott Shepherd does a good job of balancing slapstick comedy with touching family drama. Allen shows surprising range, giving a strong and sympathetic performance as an emotionally complex and dynamic character.