Kristen Bell is a stunner in this role. She keeps the qualities that everyone knows and loves about Kristen Bell the actress while still acting out a whole new character. I’m actually a bit surprised how well all of her roles line up with one another; they all fall under the guise of the employee that has a thank-you-come-again smile while making a voodoo doll with someone’s hair.
Like in The Good Place, another Kristin Bell centerpiece, the casting is stellar. Kirby Howell Baptiste is the tries-too-hard YouTuber that makes me think she should be nominated for an Oscar. You already know her from Cruella and from Kristen Bell’s The Good Place. I can’t wait to see Baptiste on the big screen as she is certainly one to watch. The vapid, quick beats keep the plot moving and the breathless, thrilling scenes of Act 1 are loveable. We meet characters whose actors and actresses become our center for the endearing 3 ½ minutes they are on screen. We love them, we want more! We wish Eduardo Franco was a guest cashier on Superstore!!
Then Act 2 came along. A wet blanket was flung upon all that high, feel-good energy. This movie deflated so fast, I thought I was in a different movie for a couple of seconds. That is not to say that the main characters of the second half weren’t great, because they were. But Vince Vaughn and Paul Walter Hauser’s dialogue seemed so out of place. I wish the director made the transition between the two acts better because it really took away from the charisma that Hauser and Vaughn exuded in their scenes. Hauser emphasizes the acting type of ‘pathetic human’ through physique and mannerisms. I would say similar to Jonah Hill when he is on the big screen.
However, the differences between Hauser’s dour acting and Bell’s overly perky style may have been too much of an obvious foil. Their professions in the movie are street jokes to each other: one is a store detective that investigates coupons with a magnifying glass and the other is an Olympic speed walker that has won gold medals. In everyday, ordinary life, their work could be considered menial but it adds up. And just like coupons whose value is usually only $1 to $5 off a grocery bill, it adds up to millions for the aptly named Procter & Gamble.