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Film / Miss Nobody

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Miss Nobody is a 2010 American Black Comedy film directed by Tim Cox and starring Leslie Bibb, Adam Goldberg, Missi Pyle, Kathy Baker, Vivica A. Fox, Brandon Routh, and Brian Bostwick.

Sarah Jane McKinney (Bibb) is a sweet, mild-mannered secretary at Judge Pharmaceuticals who is overjoyed at being promoted to junior executive... only to find out that she'll be working as a secretary to Milo Beeber (Routh), one of the senior executives. When Beeber takes her out on one of his customary dates – he always sleeps with his secretaries – he dies in a freak accident while Sarah Jane is trying to resist his advances. The next day, Sarah Jane finds herself promoted to Beeber's position at the company, which gives her some ideas about just how to get ahead. Meanwhile, she begins to fall for a new boarder at her house, Bill Malloy (Goldberg)... who just happens to be a police detective investigating the recent string of unnatural deaths among Judge Pharmaceuticals' executive board.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parent: Sarah Jane's father shoved around and yelled at her, to the point that she worships the patron saint whose falling statue killed him.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The film ends with Sarah Jane drinking from a water cooler just before remembering she'd drugged to kill Ormsby in case he was the blackmailer. It's implied that this kills her, although the pills she'd put in the water cooler only are dangerous when taken with the asthma medication that she and Ormsby both use, and she's only been having so many asthma attacks because of the stress of the situation, which had recently been resolved. Also, while heavily implied, we never actually find out if the water cooler was the poisoned one, as the movie ends right as LJ is checking the lid to see if it is marked with an x.
  • Asshole Victim: The people Sarah Jane kills are Corrupt Corporate Executives and sexual predators.
  • Bad Boss: Jejuene is needlessly abrasive and short with us employees, especially to Charmaine.
  • Benevolent Boss:
    • While also very much The Alleged Boss, Everwright is probably the only executive whose consistently friendly and supportive towards Sarah Jane, and is described as leading the division "with great, albeit clueless, gusto."
    • Sarah Jane remains friendly with the other lower-ranking employees, being patient with L.J. and recommending him for promotion at the end, keeping Charmaine from being fired, and complimenting Wickham as they work on a presentation together, although the later two are both Ungrateful Bastards.
    • Beeber and Wilder are subversions. They act kind and willing to spare their time, but Bitch in Sheep's Clothing describes them a lot better.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In the confessional, as Sarah Jane is rattling off her sins to Father Grisham:
    "I've been prideful, vain, and I've killed a few people."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sarah Jane narrates the film, and frequently speaks directly to the camera.
  • Black Chick Dies First: Wilder is the first executive on Beeber's NEWJOB list that Sarah Jane kills.
  • Black Comedy
  • Cassandra Truth: When Sarah Jane tells Father Grisham that she's killed some people he seems to think that she's speaking metaphorically about having wished people dead. Later, she takes advantage of this for a Sarcastic Confession.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Sarah Jane kills Jejeune while he's photocopying his butt.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Sarah Jane seems to have a somewhat skewed worldview at times, such as after her confession when she fails to realize that Father Grisham didn't realize she was confessing to actual murder and thinks he gave her an endorsement to continue.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Jejeune delivers one in his rant to Charmaine.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Particularly Nether, who tries to push a clearly dangerous drug onto the market to make money, but everybody has some corruption (notably, no one goes against Nether’s plan). And then there's Sarah Jane...
  • Cramming the Coffin: Sarah Jane uses Mr. Ketchum's wake as an opportunity to hide Nether's body in his coffin.
  • Cute and Psycho: Sarah Jane is one of the sweetest people you could possibly meet... and she thinks little of murdering people to get ahead at work.
  • Dead Star Walking: Brandon Routh and Vivica A. Fox are both highlighted as part of the main cast with their faces on the DVD cover. Both of their characters die very early into the movie.
  • Death by Irony: Sarah Jane started her malicious ways by accidentally killing the executive for whom she worked as a secretary. She (probably) dies when her own secretary accidentally serves her the drug-tainted water she had prepared for Ormsby.
  • Disney Villain Death: Charmaine.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Just about everything, Charmaine does is out of anger at Sarah Jane getting promoted instead of her. Never mind that 1) Charmaine herself was the one who told Sarah Jane she should apply (albeit while confident that she wouldn't get it). 2) The Promotion was shelved in favor of Sarah Jane becoming Milo's secretary and the same thing would have happened to Charmaine if she'd gotten it. 3) that Sarah Jane has remained friendly and supportive and even saved her from being fired.
  • Fair Cop: Bill, a male example, is a handsome detective.
  • Fat Bastard:
    • The paunchy Wickham is a heavy drug user and sabotages Sarah Jane's presentation to make her look stupid in the hopes he can get get her job.
    • Averted with Mr. Ormsby who is even fatter than Wickham but seems like a fairly decent guy, being the executive who's uneasiest about marketing a dangerous drug and taking notes during a meeting where all the other executives are slacking off. He even avoids being killed by Sarah Jane like so many of the others, although not entirely for lack of trying on her part.
  • Friends with Benefits: It's eventually revealed that Beeber and Wilder were friends who liked to have sex.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: A one-sided version. Charmaine and her husband seem to have a strong relationship but Sarah Jane says that even while she acts supportive about trying to have a baby with him she still takes birth control behind his back.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Sarah Jane casually brings up the ladder from which Beeber fell while she's in conversation with Bill.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: While she never stops what she's doing, Sarah Jane has many moments of being uncomfortable with killing people, with the stress causing her additional asthma attacks. She also has a very troubled expression upon finding out that the Alzheimer's drug she's been testing on Mr. Ketchum was responsible for his stroke.
  • Klingon Promotion: Of a sort. Sarah Jane kills those in front of her on her path to the top of the executive board. Charmaine later tries to do the same to Sarah Jane.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Mr. Ketchum's old boss from the funeral home mentions that he suspects Ketchum was having an affair with his wife, Dorothy (he's right, given how Mr. Ketchum keeps repeating her name during bouts of senility) as he has a son who looks just like Ketchum.
  • Mission from God: Sarah Jane believes that St. George is guiding her exploits.
  • Pedophile Priest: Implied with Father Grisham. Sarah Jane watches him in a park, mentioning that, while he knows her secret, he has some dark secrets of his own.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Sarah Jane starts out sweet and moral, then kills people by accident, then on purpose.
  • Pull the Thread: Subverted. It looks as though Sarah Jane's poor spelling, of all things, may get her busted, but she is never caught.
  • Rank Up: Sarah Jane keeps getting promoted as bodies pile up. And then there's Mr. Ormsby, who is also promoted after Everwright retires.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Charmaine and Sarah Jane, respectively. Charmaine is far more hot-tempered and assertive, and wears lots of revealing outfits throughout the film, while Sarah Jane is more mild-mannered and dresses rather conservatively, finding herself uncomfortable in sexy clothing. And while both of them are willing to kill, Sarah Jane's career-oriented motivations are much colder and more impersonal, while for Charmaine it's about revenge.
  • Retirony: Averted with Mr. Everwright, who does survive to retire at the end, although this is downplayed, given that his impending retirement wasn't mentioned at all earlier in the film.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Did Sarah Jane drink out of a water cooler that was poisoned or one without poison in the final scene?
  • Sassy Black Woman: Wilder.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Mr. Ketchum, on occasion.
  • Settle for Sibling: Sarah Jane mentions that Mr. Ormsby's wife has threatened to leave him for his skinnier twin brother unless he loses weight.
  • The Starscream: If we accept Sarah Jane as a Villain Protagonist, then Charmaine is this. She tries to kill Sarah Jane and steal her job, feeling that she denied her a promotion.
  • Serial Killer: Sarah Jane.
  • Shout-Out: The priest in the film, Grisham, shares his name with an author known for suspense stories centered on the legal profession. Probably not a coincidence.
  • The Stoner: Wickham. It gets him killed when his lighter sets off the gas leak that Sarah Jane had rigged in his house.
  • Straight Gay: Wickham is attracted to men but isn’t terribly flamboyant.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Bill, although the antagonist part is zigzagged due to him dating Sarah Jane and never really suspecting her.
  • The Unfair Sex: Three of the six male executives, Beeber, Jejeune, and Nether, all have problems with sexual harassment, weird fetishes or both.
  • Unwitting Pawn: the climax reveals that most of the cast, especially Sarah Jane and Bill, have been this to Charmaine in her quest to get a better job.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: Sarah Jane tests out an Alzheimer's drug on Mr. Ketchum, her mothers boarder, without him knowing about it (starting as a desperate attempt to stay relevant and avoid being fired).
  • Villain Protagonist: Guess.