Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Company Men: Movie Review

 

An underlining honesty and sincerity that makes this drama work.

These company men have been down-sized due to the failing economy of 2008 and the CEO's desire to get rich and cut the slack. It certainly has the possibility to be some melodramatic sob story that life can suck for rich people too. Surprisingly, there's an air of honesty and sincerity to "The Company Men" that it really is just a good drama. 2010

Directed by: John Wells

Screenplay by: John Wells

Starring: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones

Bobby (Ben Affleck) has just lost his plum executive job; Phil (Chris Cooper) is about to lose his job which he has worked his whole life from the floor to get; and Gene (Tommy Lee Jones), their former boss, might lose his job since he doesn't agree with how the company is doing business. People generally don't like Ben Affleck and people don't like Bobby, some rich jerk whining about not being able to keep his Porsche and his golf club membership. But Bobby underwent some subtle transformations as his privileged life had to change and Affleck showed that with earnest emotion that he was my favourite character of the bunch.

There were some interesting parallels between their home life and their professional status. Bobby and his wife seemed quite content to being at odds with each other from the moment he steps through the door, but he also has the best chance of landing back on his feet. Phil and his wife probably have the best loving and supportive marriage but Phil is least likely to find work again. Gene has the most dishonest marriage and he and his wife talk to each other in cheery voices with malicious undertones. But at work, Gene is the one with a conscience.

A somber Kevin Costner in an under-utilized supporting role provides the few moments of comic relief. But this is just a drama with the positive resolutions at the end and the story-lines progressing as you expect. There's no greater meaning and no hidden agenda. But sometimes it's good to just watch a good drama.


Recommended:

Rabbit Hole (2010) - The feeling of loss explored through religion and science.

Everybody's Fine (2009) - Hollywood's generational drama and the importance of family.

Up in the Air (2009) - A touching and humorous character study centered on down-sizing.