Tuesday, January 25, 2005

In Good Company -- The Review

My wife and I braved the elements this weekend and made it to the movie theater to see the new film -- In Good Company.

The movie centers around two men from different generations who must respond to a recent corporate takeover. The younger of the two -- played by the increasingly annoying and distracting Topher Grace -- is put in a position of power at a magazine. In doing so, he replaces the newly demoted older character -- played by the incomparable Dennis Quaid.

The movie centers on their relationship as the younger Grace essentially keeps Quaid's character around as he strives to get ahead and somehow be more like him at the same time. In the meantime, he meets Quaid's daughter and the two of them have an interesting love affair.

The movie is a bittersweet tale as two generations learn to come to grips with a changing world. Quaid's world is turned upside down as the "evil corporate empire" takes over the old school way of handling things. Essentially, in his mind -- the art of conversation and salesmanship are being deemed uselss by the hipper and go-getter younger generation. It is a hard concept to handle as he is forced to fire many of his long standing and loyal employees. On the other hand, the younger generation views the world from a corporate side and looks to meet the benchmarks of dollars established disregarding the human factor.

The movie is preachy at times but it gets the point across that the world is an arbitrary place. You could be secure one day and "free" the next day. It also gets us evaluating what it is that we actually value in life. Should we put work at the top of our list or should other things such as family come first. Both are forced to strive towards the middle.

I also saw another struggle in the movie. How should we as the younger generation view the older generation? The movie shows evidence of people being discarded as though they don't have anything to offer. The older generation is often regarded as ineffective and useless by the younger generation. I see that in life in my career. We can't do that to them... they have so much to offer... but I digress.

Overall, the movie is a good movie -- albeit that it relies on a lot of product placements that sometimes distract from plot itself.

After seeing this movie, I am more and more convinced that Dennis Quaid is one of the most underrated actors of our time. He can convey so much emotion without even saying a word. For fear of giving away too much of the plot, I will say that there is a moment when he is openning birthday presents that I will never forget...and he doesn't say a single word.

On the other hand, someone please put Topher Grace out of his misery. Stop spending money on his work. It is only encouraging him to act more and push his distracting and annoying voice on us all. Arbitrary statements? Yes... he hurts me and my sensibilities.

Official rating? Matinee...but if you are a Dennis Quaid fan... then it might qualify as a full price movie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're being too hard on Topher. I actually found him quite likable as an actor in this movie, and I enjoyed him as himself in Ocean's Eleven (and Twelve). Aside from Traffic, in which I thought he was just sort of flat and boring and didn't bring much to the character, I've generally liked his work.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Smelmooo said...

Three words come to mind when I think of Topher Grace.

One Trick Pony.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Oh, it was clear since the start of That 70's Show that Topher Grace can't act his way out of a paper bag. No, wait. That might be a little bit harsh. I mean, he's not as bad as J. Lo. Let's say, then, that he can't act his way out of a zip lock bag! :)

9:43 AM  

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