Screen Reviews

Dream Job

Written and directed by Jim Lasley

Staring Stephen Jones, Lisa Nistri, Joseph Henry, Joanna Sycz

Relentlessly upbeat coffee achiever Skyler Rhodes (Jones) is in for a bad day. Downsized by Big Boss and cuckolded by lovely wife Rachel (Nistri), he fails to see this as an opportunity, not a setback. He does what any of us would – drinks himself blotto, then takes a leap off the old Tallahatchee Bridge. Now, God doesn’t like suicide (it shows initiative in the wrong direction), and Skyler is stuck in limbo with Billy, The Precocious Kid (Henry). God cuts Skyler some slack, and to win that promotion to the cloud office all he has to do is relieve some schmuck’s misery by convincing them to take his golden briefcase and get their Dream Job. No problem for a top salesman, until an unexpected management change leaves the top slot in eternity open, and sexy Satan (Sycz) comes gunning for him. Hey, burn out can affect the best of us.

Dream Job has a lot going for it – sympathetic characters, situations we all brush up against, and an intriguing view of the afterlife that never gets preachy. Jones gives the shallow salesman role a scary reality of The Guy Who Can Sell You Anything, and won’t let you forget it even if you never buy. Apologetic Billy, a generic Mercury of the Christian faith, seems genuinely sad about the weird and unsatisfying assignments he passes out. But, hey, it’s His show. Most intriguing is Sycz’s vision of a sexy but burned out Lord of Darkness, ready to close hell, set all the tormented souls free, and open a coffee shop.

Less clear is the ultimate message. Is redemption achieved by elevating others from misery, or by engaging in some last minute assignment from the almighty? Is God omnipotent, bending His own rules at will, or merely omniscient, setting the rules and watching us all run the maze as we will? You can’t have both. Skyler gets cheated by the Devil and dropped in the symbolic landfill of life, only to wake up with the woman he loves, and not the one he started with.


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