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No room for ‘Company’

Kimberly Nicoletti

I saw “In Good Company” and “Office Space” in the same week, and I have to say, in the corporate-bashing film genre, “Office Space” made me laugh throughout, whereas “In Good Company” bummed me out for a good portion of the movie.I think it’s because “Office Space” begins with the absurdity of corporate greed and bad managers and follows twentysomethings as they take action, whereas “In Good Company” begins with a talented middle-age man who depends on his job to support his family and finds himself replaced by a twentysomething. It’s only by chance – and a manipulative screenwriter who prefers glossing over the reality of what’s happening in corporate America – that the situation resolves amicably.Dennis Quaid delivers a strong performance as Dan Foreman, an ad manager who excels at his job but makes too much money. Carter Duryea (Topher Grace), a 26-year-old who traded his heart for the corporate game, matches Quaid’s impact on the screen. Together the two create a strong dynamic, infused with complex relational components ranging from father-son and elder-learner to employee-boss and protector-competitor.Scarlett Johansson, as Dan’s college-age daughter Alex, adds another subtly appealing dimension to the plot. She seems to hold the key to Carter’s heart, allowing him to admit how scared he is to be the boss. As the trailers suggest, Carter and Alex become romantically involved, which adds a twist to Dan and Carter’s relationship.But despite the strong performances, adequate plot and supposedly satisfying ending, “In Good Company” lacks the emotional truth that would have made it a riveting movie, and it lacks the humor of “Office Space” to make it something to watch again.The ending feels more like a Band-Aid to soothe audiences who have open wounds from the corporate experience rather than a true vision of how individuals can respond to heartless and dysfunctional corporate practices.


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