Friday, February 11, 2005
Saw the film In Good Company a few weeks ago.
Synopsis: Dan Foreman is headed for a shakeup. He is demoted from head of ad sales for a major magazine when the company he works for is acquired in a corporate takeover. His new boss, Carter Duryea, is half his age--a business school prodigy who preaches corporate synergy. While Dan develops clients through handshake deals and relationships, Carter cross-promotes the magazine with the cell phone division and Krispity Krunch, an indeterminate snack food under the same corporate umbrella. Both men are going through turmoil at home. Dan has two daughters, Alex, age 18, and Jana, age 16, and is shocked when his wife tells him she's pregnant with a new child. Carter, in the meanwhile, is dumped by his wife of seven months just as he gets his promotion. Dan and Carter's uneasy friendship is thrown into jeopardy when Carter falls for, and begins an affair with, Dan's daughter Alex.
This is a film, that with a lesser capable cast, could easily fallen into a poor, predictable movie. Dennis Quaid (Dan Foreman) does a great job as the haggard middle-aged salesman while Topher Grace (Carter Duryea) once again shows that he's the That 70's Show actor who should be working in the movies. Scarlet Johansson brings her same skills that she did in films like Ghost World and Lost In Translation with the part as Dan's college headed daughter.
In Good Company also brings to light the growing problem we have with large companies gobbling up others, thus making many jobs redundant, and losing the personal touch. It's a too real situation that the film conveys very well.
The only problem that I had with In Good Company was when the Rupert Murdoch-esque character, Teddy K (played by Malcolm McDowell) shows up to give the "troops" a pep talk. While speaking and spewing out a lot of double talk a confrontation occurs that is a bit hard to swallow (in reality I believe that the character in question would have been sacked), but it's a small complaint and overall didn't hurt my enjoyment of the film.
I was especially satisfied with the resolution of the film. It could have gone off into a sickeningly sweet conclusion, but it doesn't - and that was the correct choice.
For a Jan/Feb film, the time of the year we usually get dumped on with some poor, poor films, In Good Company is a little gem that's worth getting out of the cold and into the theatre.
I give this film a "merger":