This is the movie review arena of Dave Mitchell and Trevor Taylor. We are fed up with stupid critics who pick the movies that nobody goes to watch. (BEWARE: PLOT-DETAILS/SPOILERS INCLUDED!!!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"In Good Company"

(Just call me technical man - Trev)
(I'm not gonna give you all the technical crap that Trev did. I'm not that savvy. You want it--go get it yourself.)

Plot Synopsis: Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) is the head of the marketing department at Sports America (*cough* Illustrated *cough*) magazine. When his parent company is bought out by a global conglomerate, this 51-year-old husband/father-of-two is demoted to "wing-man" for a rising star in the new parent company-- 26-year-old Carter Dureyea (Topher Grace). The relationship between Dan and Carter is strained at best. Further strain is introduced when Carter falls in love with (and begins secretly dating) Dan's college-student daughter Alex (the lovely Scarlett Johannson). Throughout the film, corporate upheaval and family turmoil threaten to overwhelm the two male leads, who struggle to find purpose and satisfaction in their careers and lives.

Dave Says: What a collosally great film this is. I completely expected to enjoy it, and it exceeded my expectations. This is a well-acted, well-written movie about purpose and priorities. All the leads deliver layered, nuanced performances. And the soundtrack is incredible--David Byrne, Iron and Wine, The Soundtrack of our Lives, Steely Dan, Diana Krall? Holy crap, dude. Someone buy that soundtrack producer a drink. Nice. (The only let down is that the soundtrack album doesn't have the songs by the Shins or "Cannonball" by Damien Rice--all of which are included in the film.)

What amazed me about this movie was that it was much cleaner than it could have been. I know, I know, it's only rated PG-13. But what I'm saying is, there were several ways where more tawdry things could have been added to add "character", but which would have contributed nothing to the story. Instead, we still have a great story that is as much about romance as it is about career ambition, and in the end, it's an affirmation of seeking fulfillment rather than simply material gain.

The ending of the movie was absolutely appropriate. Not a forced "Hollywood" sappy ending, but a fitting end that resolves each of these characters the way they should be. Because the movie isn't about the romantic couple, it's about Dan and Carter. It's about a middle-aged man trapped in a corporate culture that devalues personal interaction and trust, and elevates bottom-line thinkers and cutthroats; and it's about a twenty-something who finds himself on the fast-track in a job he can't quite handle, and may not even want.

I've read some reviews that call the third act of the film "unrealistic." Perhaps. But definitely possible. And preferable. Realism is a bit overvalued, I think.

My final word: go see this movie. Even in a banner year for movies, as this one may end up being, you'll probably still find this clever, heartwarming movie in my top five next December.

My other final word: I'm incredibly smitten with Scarlett. Always have been. Just thought I'd mention it again. Yowsa.

Dave's "Rock on/Walk out" Rating:
"I don't even have to ask if you're psyched!" Rock on!
Sounds like a winner!
I'm totaly down. I will definetly check it out.
"Technical man, technical man,
Technical man hates Triangle man,
Get in a fight, Technical wins,
Technical man."
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