Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Company Men (2010)

Synopsis: Smug corporate douchebag learns that losing your job really sucks. 
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him jobless, he is forced to re-define his life as a husband and father.” 
What Did I Learn?: If your employer is losing money and firing lots of people every day, it’s probably not such a hot idea to contradict your boss in front of other senior executives. 
You Might Like This Movie If: You've experienced a really bad job interview. 
Really?: 1) So, what does this placement firm actually offer besides horrible pep talks, a computer terminal and free phone calls? Why does Bobby Walker and his colleagues commute to this office every morning when they could probably conduct their job searches much more effectively from home? 2) I realize Bobby is a little out of touch with reality, but how many unemployed fathers would seriously pay good money to get their Porsche detailed, or on golf club membership fees? 3) Speaking of the Walker family finances, couldn’t they come up with a better option than moving into some spare rooms in Bobby’s parent’s place? I mean, they sold they house. 4) Wait, why does the DVD cover show Kevin Costner wearing a suit? That totally doesn’t match with the character he portrays in the film. 5) You know, if my former boss offered to buy me lunch, and handed me a list of personal acquaintances who might be willing to hire me, I don’t think I’d blow up at him and storm out of the restaurant. 
Rating: I had a bit of trouble believing Affleck’s character would behave the way he does in his circumstances (see: “Really?”), but The Company Men is otherwise a smart, and very compelling character-driven drama about the state of American manufacturing in today’s global economy, and the devastating effects that unemployment can wreak upon a family. I especially liked Jones’ performance as the world-weary Gene McCleary; watch for Craig T. Nelson (best remembered as TV’s Coach) as his narcissistic boss. Highly recommended. 9/10 stars.

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