Thursday, May 1, 2014

Swimming With Sharks (1994)

Hmm... this seems like an appropriate choice for May 1, International Workers' Day.

Synopsis: World’s worst boss goes a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle too far. Oh wait, that’s the synopsis for The Bounty.... and Mutiny on the Bounty, come to think of it.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Kevin Spacey stars as Buddy Ackerman, a corporate cutthroat who reigns over an entry level job anyone would kill for. The catch is Buddy is the ‘Boss from Hell’ Ask poor Guy (Frank Whaley), Buddy’s personal assistant who is eager to climb the corporate ladder.”

What Did I Learn?: 1) David Lean is not dead. He’s simply “unavailable”. 2) Life is not a movie. Good guys lose, everybody lies, and love... does not conquer all. 3) If they can't start a meeting without you, well, that's a meeting worth going to, isn't it? And that's the only kind of meeting you should ever concern yourselves with.

Really?: 1) I had a bit of trouble believing the slightly-older, and much-more-successful Dawn would develop a romantic interest in beta male Guy. 2) People usually stay in bad jobs because they need the money, but it’s made clear that Guy could probably find something better. Even if his job is a glorified stepping stone to  greater opportunities, I’m not sure anyone could put up with a full year of such abuse.

Rating: Swimming With Sharks is an enjoyable, and cleverly-written comedy/revenge fantasy, especially if you’ve ever worked for a sadistic boss you just couldn’t stand (and believe me, I’ve had a few!). Whaley does a great job as the beleaguered Guy, but Spacey delivers an absolutely magnificent performance, and ensures that Buddy never becomes a caricature. Highly Recommended. 9/10 stars.

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