The premise of Demoted is pretty simple and predictable. Film is set in a tire-company and the two lead characters (Sean Astin and Michael Vartan) are both working in the sales department trying to sell tires over the phone. Job looks about as depressing and dead-end as any so they spend their time harrassing a third colleague (David Cross). They both are the favourites of the manager. When that manager dies , their harrassed colleague gets the manager's job and now it's payback time. The film is about how they are trying to cope with their new positions in the company.
I did not expect a lot of this film. Came in with really low expectations and at first it seems that another 90 minutes of my life would be wasted on another crappy movie. The lead characters were really unlikeable and character-less. It's hard to symphatize with loser-assholes working a dead-end sales job and living in their mother's basements. So I was thinking this would feature David Cross as the main protagonist, trying to beat down these two guys. Instead the screenwriter decided to make him the villain. I have to say that David Cross is the star in this one. I liked him a lot in Arrested Development and he plays a similar delusional clumsy loudmouth.
The story is thin, main guys are unlikeable and you first wonder what you are watching and why you are watching it. Some would find the film a bit slow-moving but I have no issues with that. It doesn't have to be MTV-style all of the time.
Gradually you manage to conjure up some sympathy for the guys and the initial pity you feel for the David Cross character turns into a small form of hate because of all the incredible asshole moves he pulls off once he gets his hands on the scepter so to speak.
It's a comedy and I have seen films that called themselves that and not cracked a smile. This one is different. It has his moments. I was on the ground laughing a few times. It might not be the subtlest comedy but this isn't the subtlest film. The fact that it made me laugh makes me ok with this one. It's entertaining when you're in the mood. It's like a bowl of spaghetti with regular tomato sauce : it does what it's supposed to but you won't get poetic over it and start clamoring the spaghetti's chef deserves a few Michelin stars.