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Joe Somebody Review

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Allen is the archetypal ordinary Joe who, after being decked by the office bully, embarks on a fitness campaign - aided by a crazed James Belushi - and insists on a re-match.

★★★★★

Ironically, Tim Allen's forte (or, in post-Home Improvement limbo, his mezzoforte at least) is a comedically-enhanced Joe Everybody.

His guy's-guy likeability has kept a sputtering movie career from stalling. Here he plays Joe Scheffer, an invisible middle-management drone who reaches a turning-point when he is bitch-slapped by the office bully in front of his teenage daughter. Desperate to regain his self-esteem, he challenges the jerk to a rematch. Speculation as to whether he'll turn the other cheek instead does not generate much suspense.

It does, however, remind us to give thanks that Allen is around to pick up roles that would once have been fodder for the Robin Williams bathos machine.

A reed-thin morality tale this might be - and completely out of step with the prevailing mood in America - but it's an efficiently crafted rom-com, with a fair amount of family-friendly charm.