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Pleasant comedy-romance for fans of the genre and cast
inkblot1112 April 2011
Charlie Thurber (Luke Wilson) is an English professor at a small, New England college. Although his students love and learn from him, his possible tenure is in doubt. This is because of the "publish or perish" unwritten law that is prevalent in American academia. So far, Charlie is having trouble getting his essays into an admired journal. To complicate things, his father is in an extended care facility nearby, due to early dementia, but, Charlie is not visiting him often enough. This has angered his sister and upset his dad, who was also a prof and likes to converse with his son. A colleague, Jay (David Koechner), an unorthodox science instructor in search of a bigfoot-type local monster, is also up for tenure. Now, the dean lures a Yale-educated English academic, Elaine Grasso (Gretchen Mol) to the department, further complicating Charlie's quest for tenure. Jay suggests that the two males mildly "sabotage" Elaine's adjustment to the school, by arranging to make her look bad in front of others, especially the dean. This involves everything from implicating her in a "cola" theft in the staff room to questioning her school loyalty at the college basketball game, where Elaine inadvertently sat on the opposing team's side. But, wait, does Charlie really want to drive Elaine away, since she's so smart and pretty and he's single? For those who love comedy-romance, here is another sweet view. Wilson's dry, understated humor is always welcome while Mol is a lovely romantic interest. The rest of the cast, including Koechner, are wonderfully supportive. The beautiful east coast college campus will surely bring sighs of admiration and the costumes, script, photography, and steady direction are quite fine as well. Get Tenure, therefore, all you usual fan suspects.
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Not a bad movie...
tburick25 August 2010
I am not going to bash this movie as many have done... I saw the movie, and was think I set the bar too high. Without giving away too much of the movie, I found that the acting was good, the story was different from a "bottled, formulaic, Animal House-ish" rewrite college comedy.

It was smart, clever, and told a good tale, there was only a small amount of unanswered questions I had in my mind when it ended... I stared at the screen and said... "OK...it wasn't awful, it was .... well OK"

The bottom line is, I am not going to say it was a horrible movie, because it was not... I found that I was entertained by the movie, and they did not try to market it as a blockbuster.. A decent film, and not too far removed from what it was about.. trying to get tenure at a College.
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"Tenure" has its faults, but it's still OK
napierslogs18 June 2010
"Tenure" is a comedy about college professors. It has its fair share of problems, mainly that it has a really weak (in some cases false) description of college life for professors. And its hard to call this a comedy.

The jokes are very sophomoric, you may laugh a little bit, but these jokes are for the lowest common denominator. I found it a very odd mix, since generally movies about academic professors are supposed to be more intelligent. Do not mistake this movie as intelligent. David Koechner (who I am generally not a big fan of) is in the main comedic role, he crosses the line from professor to student, and his jokes cross the line from decent to unacceptable.

That aside, the rest of the movie is a pretty good exploration of a smart, but insecure, 30-something guy. Luke Wilson is his usual, likable self, and I looked forward to the resolution for his character.

"Tenture" is not the smart, funny academic film that I was expecting (and that I think it was supposed to be), but I found a bit of myself in Luke Wilson's character and I was smiling at the end. If you ignore the promise of high comedy, this film can be enjoyed.
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A great comedy with some serious stuff inside
elivbg121 December 2010
I was actually pleasantly surprised. For some reason, I find many comedies produced lately virtually painful to watch. I was wondering if this movie would be the same... I found it to be completely refreshing; great cast, quirky characters. May be not so over-the-top impressive characters but the main characters were very likable. Luke Wilson seems like a decent actor, in this movie I felt that I was seeing a person, so I felt more connected to his role than some of his other roles. I loved the "Bigfoot" characters. And I liked the ending, too-- good but not too good to be true. I also like to comment on the theme, getting tenure. I am a university assistant professor and the process is all that and more. It is a nerve-racking process. I will stop here because there is too much detail that goes into this, which would be of no interest to the general reader. The movie did do a decent job of showing some aspects of the system yet with a great sense of humor.
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Well Written, Directed, Acted and Scored. A Gem!
sartor02317 July 2010
This movie was not written for a mass market. It was and is a labor of love. It's narrow cast audience will know who they are. I say, Give this movie a chance, and you may end up laughing out loud a number times as I did, along with a good number of knowing chuckles.

I felt the movie overall, was very well done in many aspects of film making. In all, a joy for me. I'd say anyone remotely affiliated with University life, and an open mind, will have a lot of fun watching this movie, and an enjoyable experience.

I'm sorry I'm not as erudite describing the movie from a technical perspective, as some of the other reviewers, but I just had to write out my feelings about this Gem of a movie.

Thanks to the producers, to MIke Million, and the well cast actors for making this movie! Thanks to ALL who were involved in making it!! Thank You!
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Very funny movie
candigale10 June 2011
I found this movie hilarious. I came across it on Cinemax. I had never heard of it; but I found myself laughing all the way through. Whoever wrote it is a genius. The boyfriend from Yale always plays funny parts; i.e. Reno 911 & Eastbound and Down. Whenever I see him in anything, I start laughing before he speaks. I know he is going to be funny. I haven't seen Luke Wilson in anything lately, and I know he is a funny actor. He is very monotonous, but the looks on his face are what kill me. And David Koechner acting like an idiot is also something you can always count on. He is crazy. I saw him on Funny or Die in skits called Men of unquiet desperation, or something like that. He played a parking attendant, and I could not stop laughing. He is also someone who makes me laugh before he even starts speaking.
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a truly refreshing movie
frankpellegrini28 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I already knew from "You Kill Me" that there are gems in the presumably purgatorial straight-to-Blockbuster pipeline, and my guess from the "Tenure" cover art that the marketers just didn't know what to do with Mike Million's directorial debut (of his own screenplay). The Blockbuster page for this one lists "no similar movies..." which sums it up pretty well.

Although Million is obviously a fan of Wes Anderson - from the music to a for-the-initiated "cacaw" - and though the Wilson-and-Koechner combo (and the college setting) may have renters hoping for something familiarly debauched and "zany", he resists visiting those well-traveled extremes, as well as the dead spots and emotional browbeating of the small-and-heartfelt-indie-comedy genre.

"Tenure" is funny without relying on, say, Will Ferrell running around naked. It is heartfelt without a drop of treacle, and a "loser-finds-his-bliss" comedy whose hero (and even his 'wacky friend') have a quiet self-respect which suffuses the entire film.

No one will be surprised at this point in Hollywood history to see a Bigfoot obsession mined for laughs, or for an adult son to drop in on his father's nursing home and catch some old-people sex. But leave it, apparently, to Mike Million to deliver these goods in ways that we haven't quite seen before (and deliver the news that David Koechner can really act. Bob Gunton, aka the warden from Shawshank Redemption, also displays layers I do not personally remember seeing before. I will now await him as I do the Philip Baker Halls...) There are undoubtedly those who will accuse Tenure of not quite knowing what it wanted to be. But for anyone starting to see in every new movie merely echoes of its ancestors (am I the only person in the world who found "Avatar" long, tedious and way too predictable?) it was nice to see that Mike Million knew well the various territories on which he was in danger of encroaching, and deftly walked a difficult path between them. If everything in Tenure was familiar, nothing in it was tiresome or clichéd. Which takes real courage to attempt, and a real, veteran-like talent to pull off.

If you watch this movie and feel that it did not quite deliver enough "Old School," or on the other hand enough "Rushmore," blame your conditioned expectations and watch it again. You'll realize you didn't want it to - and that it delivered something else. Real restraint. Real characters. Real dignity - even Bigfoot gets respect in this movie. And some real one-upping of the kind of punchline (Gunton's "plastic knife" line comes to mind) that you could have sworn could no longer be memorably/freshly conceived or delivered on screen.

Then - since it's too late for him to punch up Avatar - you'll start wondering what familiarities Million is going to make unfamiliar next.
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ctomvelu12 April 2012
Smart little film about a college teacher (Wilson) facing tenure review. He's a great teacher but has barely been published and is not enough of a politician. Along comes a new assistant professor (Mol) from Yale of all places, and now he's facing competition. His best buddy, a slightly deranged anthropology teacher (Koechner), convinces him to sabotage the new arrival at every turn. Problem is, the new arrival is unsure of herself and the two "competitors" become friends. Wilson is perfect in his role, and Koechner is wonderfully daffy as a Sasquatch worshiper. Mol is pretty, but truthfully isn't given that much to do. There's a nice ongoing bit about Wilson's character and his aging dad (Gunton), who unhappily resides in a nursing home. Filmed on the campus of Bryn Mawr. Very relaxed, nothing artificial, nothing forced, to the very end.
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Beg to differ with the festival viewers
petkanasw20 February 2010
Maybe it's the air at film festivals, but I just watched it on DVD last night (it was released at Blockbuster early)and though I was looking forward to it, found it dull, lifeless, bland, and worst of all, wrong.

I should admit I am a college professor and thought I would enjoy a film which was supposed to be a comedy about college professors. This was no _Groves of Academe_ or anything close. In the film, the writing professor urges his students to "write about what you know" (and old and tired chestnut, to be sure, but not bad advice) and yet Mike Million seems to know nothing about the academic life, tenure, publications, etc., and in fact, seems to have learned about academic life from watching television shows about high school teachers (including the faculty lounge, old deans with bow ties, etc.) Then again, I've never taught at Bowdoin or Bryn Mawr, so maybe it's really like that there... but I doubt it.

Not to say there aren't internecine battles and personal squabbles among faculty, there certainly are, but they don't look like this. Admittedly, there are a few chuckles here and there (much of it from an extended gag about Bigfoot) but when the film deliberately tries to be funny (e.g., erotic poetry club) it falls flat. Overall, it has a quiet, dignified tone to it, which may help it appear to be artsy, and the use of beautiful, Hollywood versions of college (all stone buildings and oak paneled interiors) give it a sense of class, I would give it a miss.

Unless herbal erectile pills strike you as absolutely hilarious.
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The Good Old "Losers Turn Winners" Feel...
McDozer7 March 2010
You know those movies featuring a total loser who's doing so bad that it actually becomes embarrassing? They're probably aimed at making us feel better about ourselves, the real losers, out there in that strange dimension called reality-land, trying to cheer us up that every loser can strike a happy ending and somehow, thanks to Hollywood magic, turn winner again... Well, "Tenure" is one of those, with the relatively fresh twist that our "hero" is a college teacher. He's great at teaching, but not really good at anything else. His students love him, but his colleagues hate him. Plus, his best friend falls into the category of "With friends like that, who needs enemies?" It's got heart, though, and though this film is by no means guaranteed to knock your socks off, if the same thing can be said of you, I mean, the "heart" thing, then you might like it. Especially if you've ever been in a situation trying to figure out how to get through to members of the younger generation, or you believe in Bigfoot, or you happen to like Gretchen Mol...
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An Unfunny Comedy
claudio_carvalho21 August 2010
The lonely professor Charlie Thurber (Luke Wilson) is seeking to grant tenure in the Grey College. Charlie is loved by his students but has not published any article for a long time. His best friend is the anthropologist Jay Hadley (David Koechner) that researches evidences of the existence of the Sasquatch and his father was interned by his sister in an expensive rest home. When the Dean Leakey (William Bogert) hires the Yale's English Professor Elaine Grasso (Gretchen Mol), Charlie is threatened by the competition for tenure and Jay declares Elaine as their enemy and sabotages her in school. Charlie tries to publish a work but has difficulties.

"Tenure" is an unfunny comedy with pathetic lead characters: Charlie is a complete imbecile, but a good teacher and Jay is an unscrupulous crackers. Their attitudes against the lovely Elaine are stupid, unethical and absolutely inadequate for college professors and after 89 minutes running time, I have not laughed any time. I found stranger how a viewer could "love" this flick and I discover that there are many fake reviews in IMDb of people with only one review promoting this flick to lure the readers. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Um Professor em Apuros" ("A Teacher in Trouble")
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r-victorlaszlo16 October 2009
Hilarious! I saw this movie at the Hamptons Film Festival, and quite simply... I laughed my ass off. Seriously, it has the makings of a real cult classic. There was a group of teenage boys and girls sitting to my right, and a couple who were probably in their 50's/60's on my left (I'm in my 30's) and we were all cracking up audibly. It reminded me of when I saw Tootsie in the theater back in the 80's - the audience would erupt in laughter and it didn't seem to matter the age of the person - everyone was getting it - it was just plain old funny. I'm a huge fan of movies, and especially comedies, and this one hit it. Luke Wilson is great- and not only is he funny - but he does some seriously good acting - this is a role where you get to see that yes, as my girlfriend kept reminding me, he's handsome as hell, and yes, as anyone who's seen him before, he's a funny dude, but in this film, we get to see him act, and he does an amazing job. Put this with Gretchen Mol, who always does a great job, and looks amazing, but plays a very sensitive character... I want to see these two together again. The whole cast is strong, and throw in David Koechner - the funniest I've ever seen him and if you've seen him, you know how funny he is (he threatens to steal each scene with a character that will probably have college kids dressing up like him next Halloween) ... like I said, you have the makings of a cult classic here. You really should catch it in the theater too - you need to have that sensation of laughing with other people - you get that feeling like you're joining a club when you watch this movie. I can't wait to bring my friends as soon as this hits the theaters so I can say I was the one who told them about it first, and yes, I plan to see it again. Can't wait. Neither can my girlfriend (hopefully not just because she wants to see Luke Wilson's handsome mug again)
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Funny, funny film
captivefan14 November 2009
Saw this movie last night at Lone Star Film Festival, Fort Worth, TX. It was funny, well written, well acted and a real treat to watch. I hope Mike Million gets more of his screen plays made into movies that he can also direct, because he knows what he is doing!! The movie appealed to all ages that were in attendance last night. It was a perfect vehicle for Luke Wilson and the comedian playing the part of Jay was hilarious. I would recommend this movie to anyone. The sub plots of the main character's aging Father, and Jay's search of Sasquatch were both appealing. All in all this was a sweetheart of a movie. Hollywood should take note.
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In search of bigfoot
chelano16 November 2010
This film was a delight to watch, but did get slow at parts. At parts you did feel a little bored, but something would come up to get your attention back for a bit. It had light humor, but it was a nice chuckle and relaxing. The cast in the film was pretty good. Luke Wilson was decent, but not his best role. Now they needed an actor to play a off the wall weird teacher who is obsessed with bigfoot. So they picked David Koechner, who at first I thought wouldn't fit, but he proved me wrong. Gretchen Mol played the main female role and she did a good job. The film is all about a teacher trying to get tenure. That in itself sounds like a boring piece of work, but luckily they did put some humor in the film. That is basically what David Koechner was for. Some scenes were a bit out of the ordinary, but it really fit with the film. This independent film didn't rely on anything crazy like special effects. Just nice dialog and a decent cast. This would be one of those nice Sunday afternoon movies to watch.
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Enjoyable, but could be better
giantjoebot26 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was enjoyable. It had a good storyline, and I could relate to the characters for the most part. The problem that I had with this movie is that Charlie Thurber (played by Luke Wilson) is such a straight man that it seems unrealistic, and kind of annoying. The only time that he does anything immoral is when he is coaxed by his friend Jay Hadley (played by David Koechner). I think if the main character had done some more immoral things on his own, he would have seemed more human and real. I feel like several of the characters as they are seem to innocent, and unrealistic. There was a perfect opportunity for this with the female student that had a huge crush on him, Robin (played by Hilary Pingle). So below are my thoughts on what they could have done with this story.

If Charlie, the main character, with everything going on in his life, had eventually given into Robins desire for him it would have made his character seem more realistic. Personally I think that I would have. It also would have added a bit of sex that I think the movie would have benefited from. I felt a lot of sexual tension in the movie, probably to much. I think they could have used her character to expand on the teacher characters. She could have given her view of some of the various faculty from a students point of view, showing some of the flaws and short comings of the other professors. Like one being a bit perverted, and another drinking during work hours. He could have then taken her to dinner instead of the PBS lady, and Elaine Grasso (played by Gretchen Mol) could have showed some jealousy for the young attractive student, which I think would make her character seem more real and human as well. I just think this would have added some much needed depth to the movie
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A very weak movie that shows no signs of knowing what college life is like for a professor
richard-178723 May 2010
I picked this movie up at Blockbusters strictly for the title. Having been a professor myself for the last 33 years, I'm always curious to see how movies portray the life of a college professor. Even otherwise good movies usually show no knowledge of what goes on in the professional life of an academic. This movie, which is one of the weakest I have seen in years, is totally clueless in that regard.

It deals with the tenure problems of an untenured assistant professor in some New England private college. The other professors are all portrayed as idiots, of course, but then the protagonist isn't presented as a bright light either. We are led to believe that his students think he is a great teacher, but that is just stated; we never see any good teaching on his part. In fact, what little we do see of him in the classroom looks pretty lame.

Tenure hinges on publication here. The protagonist needs a few articles. So he keeps sending one off, and it keeps getting rejected - in a matter of a few days every time. Where, I would love to know, is an academic journal with turn-around time like that?

I could go on about the other aspects of the movie, but it's really not worth it, nor is it worth renting. This movie demonstrates no knowledge of what a college professor's academic and professional life is like. I will let others speak to its qualities as entertainment.
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There is something almost touching about a comedy that fails to make you laugh.
fedor824 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Nicholas Cage and La Lopez? Gwynneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck? Or perhaps Vince Vaughn and Julia Roberts? Nick Cage and Gwynneth Paltrow? Maybe Ben Affleck and Kate Hudson? Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts? (a bit of a height problem there, perhaps) George Clooney and La Lopez? Matt Damon and Jennifer Aniston? This IS a dumb romantic comedy, but thank God, it's none of those pairings this time around, none of those people. This is one of those extremely rare occasion when a romantic comedy is cast well: the likable Luke Wilson and the stunningly beautiful Gretchen Mol. But what is the script like? Do you even have to ask? It stinks, of course.

Romantic comedies are aimed at women, naturally, hence the kind of effort that is put into such scripts is, well... practically non-existent. "Tenure" contains Hollywood's almost century-old "safe comedy", also known as "cute comedy" aka "tee-hee-hee comedy" aka "makes-male-viewers-vomit comedy"; the kind of humour that is only one step above the kind of crap that poor, defenseless babies get when their sadistic parents switch on the "Teletubbies", gearing up their kids from an early age towards reaching the kind of low expectations and non-critical attitudes that will one day help them to appreciate bottom-of-the-barrel material such as "Friends". ("Friends": Teletubbies for adults.)

The gags are truly pathetic, and the characters who stumble over these hilarious jokes are painfully goofy, unrealistic people who clown around in all the wrong ways. For example, Wilson's terminally unfunny sidekick is a Sasqwatch-obsessed anthropology professor; he spends his time looking for Bigfoot in the woods, and takes fake acid pills now and again. Yes, that's the kind of embarrassing-to-watch trash we've got here. On the upside, there is no laugh-track; this is the one great thing about bad big-screen comedies.

But just because the humour is "safe" doesn't mean it doesn't get raunchy, or at least desperately tries to be, and this is where "Tenure" gets abysmal. A sub-plot revolves around a retirement home in which Luke's father has sex with very old women. In the final scene, Luke distributes free erection aids to the occupants of the nursing home. Painfully, painfully unfunny. Similarly shame-happy were the scenes with his students' "sex poetry". Even Wes Anderson wouldn't pull something this bad out of his talentless ass.

Luke lies about having a girlfriend, then predictably gets a paid stand-in to join him in the kind of scene we've seen in at least 5,000 sitcoms.

The only ace the movie ever had up its sleeve was Gretchen Mol. Yet(i), she makes her first appearance after about 25 minutes or so. After that, she is featured in about a handful of scenes. I don't think she has more than 20 lines in the whole movie. And she is Luke's romantic interest. You figure it out...
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Great Movie, All Around well done, The rare 10/10 just enough Comedy movie!
ivealwaysgotmail13 July 2010
Seriously, One of the best comedy's i have seen in a while, Some great one-liners in there, a simply perfect cast, great storyline, just enough random humor, Loved it.

Its rare for me to rate a movie this highly but this movie isn't one of those movies with funny moments and boring lulls, its one of those movies that just keeps you smiling and giggling the whole time and its the best of its kind that i have seen.

Its been a long time since i have been so pleasantly surprised by a movie like i was this one, I definitely recommend this movie to any and all people who like to laugh and smile, Which I'm pretty sure are most people ;-).
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FANTASTICALLY amazing!!!!!!!!!
love-581-35625513 November 2009
An absolute must see. I just viewed this at the Lone Star Film Festival a couple of hours ago and the reaction from the entire theater was extremely positive. Everyone was laughing and that includes a wide range of age groups. I would love to see this again and have only great things to say about it. It was (as the director,Mike Million, described) a coming of age film for the life of a 30 year old English college professor who wanted nothing more than to find himself and discover what truly made him happy. If you are reading this Mike (and everyone else who made this possible), you did an absolutely excellent job! keep up the good work and I hope to see more of your films!!
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Enjoyable to watch, mainly for Wilson, if somewhat naughty
vchimpanzee27 September 2018
Grey College English professor Charlie is being considered for tenure. he is well-liked by his students and does a good job in the classroom, but he can't get anything published. But let's back up eight months.

Jay is an expert on Bigfoot. Or thinks he is. He has evidence of the creature. Or thinks he does. The anthrolopology professor is rejected for tenure, minutes after Steve Kim was approved. His response is to toilet paper someone's house. I won't say who, but it's funny.

Charlie is reasonably happy with his life, wishing he could do better; Grey is apparently not a prestigious school despite its gorgeous architecture. His sister Margaret, however, is always harassing him about his lack of concern for their father William, a retired Princeton professor in assisted living. There is nothing obviously wrong with William and he hates where he is. He is still intelligent and demanding, and apparently not happy with his son's lack of career success. Charlie neither visits enough nor helps with the cost, though you have to believe with his current career Margaret is expecting too much of him. William does enjoy calling in to fund-raisers for PBS stations, not intending to contribute but just wanting someone to talk to. Charlie tries doing the same thing and meets Beth, who is likable and cute. Yes, something similar to a romance does develop between them. I'll let you find out just what. It's both weird and funny.

Charlie finds his efforts to get approved for tenure will be more difficult than he thought. His female department head (not attractive) dislikes him for reasons that aren't quite clear. Elaine is a cute new professor hired from Yale. She is likable and gets published in prestigious journals. She's not great in the classroom, which is encouraging for Charlie. However, Charlie does want to help her and in the process we see potential for a romance to develop. Meanwhile, since Elaine volunteered to be faculty advisor to the poetry club after Charlie turned down Stan's request to do so, Charlie and Stan start a second poetry club, allowing more "adult" material. Jay, not one to follow rules, tries to sabotage Elaine's efforts to succeed.

Jay gets Charlie to come along to a presentation where the enthusiastic Dave wants them to sell a product which cannot be named on broadcast TV. This looks like a pyramid scheme. When I saw the movie, part of the sign for the presentation was blurry, and every time the product name was mentioned it was bleeped. Let's just say it helps men who are having trouble with women. Later, this product is the subject of a hilarious scene in ... I'd better let you find out.

One more problem for Charlie: Robin likes him--I mean, really likes him--and wants a relationship which would clearly be inappropriate.

So, will Charlie get tenure? Will he find romance with one of the women? Will William ever be happy? Will Jay find Bigfoot?

Luke Wilson does a very good job here. He makes us like him and we want him to succeed in all areas of his life. That seems to be the main point of the movie and the main reason to enjoy it.

I know David Koechner from several roles, but mainly as the likable loser on "Superior Donuts". Here, he is a loser, but I wouldn't say likable. I suppose we want him to succeed but almost know for certain he never will.

Gretchen Mol is adorable and intelligent, and while her character's failure would be good for Charlie, she just makes Elaine too nice and pleasant for us to really want that. Seeing her and Wilson together is one of the best things about the movie.

Sasha Alexander is nothing but unpleasant. That's it. Margaret has no redeeming qualities except she's a looker. That's how Jay described Elaine, but I didn't see it myself.

Bob Gunton does a good job (though there are no challenges connected with his character's apparent problems) and I found myself wanting the film to focus more on him and the relationship between William and Charlie. I didn't care if the movie wasn't always funny.

William Bogert as the dean is sort of the absent-minded professor and makes us sort of like him, though not always.

The actors playing three of the students also made us like them. Even Ben, sort of the class clown, who doesn't have nearly enough lines.

Some of the music is classical and nice to listen to. But I particularly liked the "a capella" sound that was so much a part of the background music of the TV series "Glee" and a big part of the "Pitch Perfect" movies. This style was played at the movie's start.

Is this family friendly? I think that has already been established. Also, I have reason to suspect the F-word was used a lot. Cleaned up for TV, it's not really too bad.

I enjoyed this, though I have seen better.
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needs to be funnier
SnoopyStyle19 January 2016
Charlie Thurber (Luke Wilson) is a teacher at Grey College looking to get tenure in a few months. His students like him but he needs to publish. His Bigfoot-obsessed friend Jay Hadley (David Koechner) fails to get tenure. He's a disappointment to his Princeton professor father (Bob Gunton) in retirement living. His sister Margaret (Sasha Alexander) wants him to pay his share for their father. He calls Beth (Rosemarie DeWitt) on a TV charity drive trying to start a relationship over the phone. Then the school hires Yale English grad Elaine Grasso (Gretchen Mol) to be on the same tract as Charlie.

Charlie is a bit too pathetic which gets a little tiresome. He would be funnier if he's darker. Luke Wilson needs to get some edge. Koechner is trying to be funny. The students don't have any big standout. This comedy feels a little incomplete. It's not dark enough to be a black comedy. It's not odd enough to be quirky. It's just not quite funny enough.
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I liked it a lot but...
paul-685-66457521 March 2015
I am an emeritus professor at a Big Ten University in Columbus, Ohio (for the non-US based readers: this is one of the best known universities in the US), so I have plenty of experience with academic life in general, and hiring/tenure processes in particular.

It was very amusing to see that the movie's description of academic life was so wrong that not even the opposite would have been anywhere nearby the truth. It was so wrong that I am sure it was deliberate.

Nevertheless, this was a very entertaining movie. I had a good time watching it.

I strongly recommend it to my academic colleagues because it is fun to see how others imagine academic life.

BTW, e.g., "The Big Bang Theory" is not better either in showing academic life; still it is a fabulously superb sitcom.

P.S. I wonder if the reason that movies pretending to show the intricacies of academic life end up painting a false picture only because showing the actual reality would be simply too boring and disappointing for the "people on the street".
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War of the Teachers
Chrysanthepop4 December 2011
Mike Million's 'Tenure' gives the impression that it's a university campus comedy. I found the premise refreshing and appealing. The problem is that the comedy parts are just not that funny and Million tries too much to make it quirky funny to the point that it backfires as he goes way over the top and tumbles down.

I found the Jay Hadley character very annoying and not to be a very believable professor. The Rosemarie DeWitt track also felt out-of-place. The movie should have just stayed focused on the key character Charlie Thurber. Many people of his age would be able to relate to what he's going through. I liked the Million avoids clichés in places. For example, the Teacher's pet sequence was well done.

On the technical side, the score is pretty good and the camera captures the simplicity and beauty of the location. The woods and countryside are nice to look at. The pacing is very slow, especially at the beginning. Luke Wilson is terrific. His restrained performance as Charlie makes the character all the more real. And if this film is worth watching then it's mostly because of him. David Koechner does his best with an ill-written character. Gretchen Mol is cute and likable. Sasha Alexander is wasted.

Overall, it's not as bad as many reviewers have made it out to be but it could have easily been a lot better.
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Stupid, awful - don't believe fake reviews on IMDb
oarch21 May 2010
This movie is plain stupid. I don't know if you can call this a "comedy" if there's not a single funny thing in it.

It's more like a tragedy. Jokes are, without exception, awful. Whoever wrote this dross is a hopeless case.

Nothing makes any sense, characters go squarely against their own stated interests for absolutely no reason - all the time. Characters do completely unreasonable things for no reason other to make the storyline amusing, but it backfires every single time.

It's really a mystery how a movie written so badly can be made. I mean, have these actors and producers even read the script before making the decision to participate in it? I find it hard to believe that an educated, intelligent person could find this script good enough.

Once you see the movie, it will be VERY obvious that the positive reviews on IMDb were written exclusively by people associated with this hopeless movie. "Fantastic!!!", says one of them. Yeah, right. Fantastically awful.
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Wants to be Rushmore but it's not by a long shot..
MdlndeHond25 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe it's the Wilson factor or maybe it's the music that made me think of Wes Anderson right away. It wants to be Rushmore but it's not as quirky, bitterly funny and brilliant. The characters are trying to be odd but they are more cliché than anything else: a bigfoot hunting professor on xtc is almost childish and would fit in a highschool flick. I am fairly surprised this movie made it to any film festival at all. There was hardly anything entertaining about it and in the end i found it hard to stay engaged. Too bad, the storyline has potential for a whoppin' comedy. I wonder what Anderson would have made out of this one.
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