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In Good Company December 9, 2006

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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There have been films made which revolve around corporate life but most of them are quite serious in nature. So, it was a refreshing change to watch this comedy drama which makes generous digs at corporate culture especially the employee firing part.

The story revolves around Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace (who you’ll see as Venom in Spiderman 3 next year) – Quaid is the advertising head of a sports magazine who is demoted to a lower position as the result of a corporate takeover. More shocking for him is the fact that his new boss is 26 year old Topher Grace. But since he has a baby coming and also needs money to send his daughter Scarlett Johannson to an expensive university, he cannot afford to leave his job either.

The first half of the movie mostly deals with the uneasy relationship between these two individuals but things get even more awkward later when Grace falls in love with Quaid’s daughter. Interspersed in between is a nice satire at corporate life. Especially the dig at the phrase “letting an employee go” as if it was a choice and the subsequent scene where Quaid fires one of his associates and he innocently asks Quaid what being “let go” meant. Also depicted is the clash between marketing “by the book” with lots of jargon and one which focuses on long standing relationships. The ending of the film was somewhat bittersweet but nevertheless fine.

Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace are absolutely charming in their roles and the chemistry between them is great. Johannson doesn’t have much screen space here. It is tough to believe that this movie comes from Paul Weitz who has to his credit the first and third installments of American Pie. He also directed the much acclaimed About a Boy prior to this. This is a great drama with a novel theme as its USP and some very nice humour. Unless you are some die hard fan of corporate culture you’ll like this one a lot.

Comments»

1. Sai - December 9, 2006

I loved this film. I rented this movie expecting to watch a formulaic comedy. The presence of Scarlett Johannson (Whom I loved in Lost in Translation) was one of the reasons I picked this movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. This isn’t a conventional comedy or drama but it is a very engaging film and I felt good at the end of it.

The movie tackles the satire on corporate culture well but what I liked even more is the development of the relationship between Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid. The changing equation between these two and their interactions are the life of the movie. The romantic relationship between Scarlett and Grace is also tackled equally well. I also enjoyed the climax, which I felt was the right way to go for each of the characters. Writer-Director Paul Weitz does a commendable job on both fronts.

The acting in this movie is very good and the casting too seems perfect. Dennis Quaid is wonderful. Topher Grace has been quite a familiar face on TV as Eric Forman in That ’70s Show. I never expected him to do as good a job as he has. He seems to be a much better actor than his colleague from the show, Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher was apparently offered this part and I am glad that didn’t happen because Topher suits this role better. Scarlett Johannson doesn’t have a meaty part but it is a good role and she is perfect for it. Her expressions are just right and she makes a great impression as always.

This movie isn’t something that the audience is used to. The movie doesn’t make you laugh out loud but it has a lot of subtle humor. This is a lovely film that I will recommend to those who want to watch a neatly made film with well etched characters, convincing drama and gentle humor.


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