Writer/Director: Mike Judge
Running time: 89 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 19th April 1999
Watched on Sky+ Friday 19th August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This film came up in a conversation about Jennifer Aniston, and a claim that she never made a good comedy. Well, this one was recommended to me and, I can concede that, by today’s standards, this is a good comedy. However, Jennifer Aniston does not play one of the leading roles in it. Her performance is good, but I’ll argue that she isn’t the star… although her name does come up second in the cast list. But I digress, it’s a film about office life, and how one individual, with the help of his friends, deals with it. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Peter Gibbons is bored with his life, and his job just makes matters worse. The same routine, the bosses, particularly Bill Lumbergh, always on his case, it’s all getting a bit much for him. One day he is at a hypnotherapy session where he is put in a relaxed state before the therapist is taken ill. From this point on Peter is just chilled out, he even asks the waitress at the local diner, Joanna, out on a date. Some consultants have been brought in by the company to downsize and Peter just goes in and tells them the truth. The two Bob’s (the consultants) are impressed and decide to promote him, despite the fact he hardly ever turns up these days. Unfortunately this means his two colleagues, Michael Bolton (no, not that one) and Samir Nagheenanajar (& no, I couldn’t pronounce it either) will have to go. Feeling guilty about this, Peter gets together with the pair and they hatch a plan that will enable them to get back at the company and also bring in a bit of cash. The only trouble is, it’s risky… Think I’d better end it there or the Spoiler Police will be covering me in post-it notes again.
Full of great characters, I found this film both entertaining and amusing. Once character in particular, Milton, played quite brilliantly by Stephen Root really made me laugh! Other performances of note; Ron Livingston did a decent job as Peter Gibbons, as did Jennifer Aniston as Joanna. David Herman was good as Michael Bolton and Ajay Naidu did a good job as Samir Nagheenanajar (I still can’t pronounce that!). Diedrich Bader was Peter’s crazy neighbour Lawrence and Gary Cole was his boss, Bill Lumbergh.
I enjoyed this comedy, however, it is based on a series of animated shorts and it shows. Some of the dialogue seems a little concise, there are no long speeches and it feels like it was lifted directly from the animated version at times. The plot does get a bit contrived at times, but then again, it’s a comedy so we can forgive that to some extent. Over all though, a pretty enjoyable gentle comedy. Some of the office equipment and the fashions look a little dated today, but that doesn’t detract too much from the enjoyment of it… Recommended.
My Score: 7.4/10.
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 91,151 votes when this review was written).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80/100 (based on 88 reviews counted when this review was written).