Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yuen and LaKeith Stanfield (L-R) star in “Sorry to Bother You” (Photo Credit: Annapurna Pictures).
Funny But Absurd
In “Sorry to Bother You,” Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) desperately needs a job.
He is a grown man, renting out his uncle Sergio’s (Terry Crews) garage because he cannot afford his own place.
Cassius has a devoted girlfriend, an artist and store sign twirler named Detroit (Tessa Thompson). But he has to know Detroit’s loyalty will soon run out if he does not get his stuff together quickly.
The young couple cannot even get intimate in their garage “apartment” because as soon as they start getting busy, something triggers the garage door to open, which exposes their romance to the entire neighborhood.
So drastic times call for drastic measures.
Cassius takes a job interview with a local telemarketing company called Regal View (catchy name isn’t it?).
So to impress his potential bosses, Cassius arrives at the interview suited and booted, with a trophy and a plaque “won” at a previous job.
He tells the interviewer, Anderson (Robert Longstreet) that he won employee of the month at a local bank.
However, Anderson informs Cassius that it is impossible that he won that award during the time he said he won it because Anderson happened to be the bank manager at the time and he does not remember working with anyone named Cassius Green.
As a side note, isn’t ironic that the lead character is named Cassius Green, or Cash for short, because he does not have any cash or any green?
Anyway, Anderson also has a problem with Cassius’ job references.
He lists a company as a reference. But the number he gives the telemarketing company goes to the voicemail of his friend, Salvador (Jermaine Fowler), whose voicemail says, it’s Salvador b****** when the answering machine picks up.
Bursting Cassius’ bubble even further, Anderson knows Salvador because he just hired him to work at the telemarketing company also.
But the good news is that Anderson will hire anybody that knows how to read, and since Cassius apparently is not illiterate he gets the job.
However, if Cassius does not make any money at the telemarketing job, which probably pays commission, he will be out on his behind because Sergio is several months behind on his mortgage and he is thinking about moving into Worry Free, a settlement that houses people and gives them work when the stress of regular life becomes too much to bear.
Unfortunately, anyone who has worked in telemarketing on commission will probably tell you, making significant money is easier said than done.
In “Sorry to Bother You,” Cassius initially struggles mightily as a telemarketer.
However, when older co-worker, Langston (Danny Glover) mentors Cassius, his career takes off and reaches the next level.
Langston teaches Cassius that he has to use his White speaking voice in order to convince potential customers to purchase what Regal View is selling.
When Langston says White voice, he does not mean a Will Smith proper sounding voice.
Langston means an actual White person’s voice, like stiff sportscaster Keith Olbermann.
It does not get whiter than Olbermann.
Honestly, Langston never mentions Olbermann, but he just happens to have the whitest voice on the planet.
Using his White voice, Cassius’ success becomes undeniable at Regal View.
Nevertheless, Cassius is still not making decent money despite his sales rate.
Langston informs him that he has to make it as a power caller and move upstairs at the Regal View office to really make the big bucks.
Unfortunately, co-workers like Squeeze (Steven Yeun) believe that the power caller junk is just nonsense.
Squeeze encourages his colleagues to form a union and strike against Regal View.
Cassius, Salvador and Detroit (who eventually joins Regal View) are all for it.
However, Regal View throws a monkey wrench into the plans of their employees when they promote Cassius to a power caller.
Cassius finally begins living the good life in “Sorry to Bother You,” but when he realizes that Worry Free is one of Regal View’s top clients he has to make a choice.
Under the leadership of Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), Worry Free is engaging in some despicable work practices.
Cassius has to decide whether he is going to sell his soul and keep making the big bucks, or remember where he comes from and speak out against the dangerous practices of Worry Free.
If ever a movie could be hilarious and ridiculous at the same time, “Sorry to Bother You” would fit the bill.
“Sorry to Bother You” has its LOL moments. But the storyline is so bizarre and absurd that it cannot turn the laughter into a decent movie.
But props have to be given for the comedy in “Sorry to Bother You.”
When the telemarketers meet Diana DeBauchery, Salvador lets her know that her last name looks like debauchery.
During one of Detroit’s art exhibits, she strips to basically nothing and recites a monologue from the Motown Pictures classic, “The Last Dragon,” while attendees pelt her with paint, batteries and old cell phones.
But the extremely weird storyline is just crazy to put it mildly.
What happens to people at Worry Free was free of any imagination.
“Sorry to Bother You” has to be the product of many bored, drug-filled nights because no sober person would ever come up with this movie plot.
Furthermore, if the moviegoers that attend “Sorry to Bother You” like to indulge in illegal drugs and excessive alcohol, then “Sorry to Bother You” is not for them because it will freak them out if they are highly intoxicated.
The jokes are present.
Top-level talent is present in “Sorry to Bother You.”
Unfortunately, a good storyline is absent in “Sorry to Bother You.”