In Good Company [HD DVD]
• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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Dan Foreman, (Dennis Quaid), is the successful Director of Marketing for Sports America Magazine. He actually likes his work, which is good, since he is a twenty-five year veteran of the ad industry. Dan is a fifty-something family man, married to forty-ish Anne Foreman, (stunning Marg Helgenberger from TV's CSI), who, we learn early on, is pregnant - a pre-menopausal surprise! It's OK, they're thrilled about the upcoming event! Daughter Alex, (Scarlett Johansson), an eighteen year-old college student, and her slightly younger sister Jana, (Zena Gray), really make-up the kind of warm, loving family anyone would want to belong to. These are decent, intelligent, normal people, who all seem to possess a sense of humor - some quirkier than others.
Carter Duryea, (Topher Grace), is a 26 year-old marketing wiz for GlobeCom, a multinational corporate conglomerate, owned and run by a Rupert Murdoch-like figure, "Teddy K," (Malcolm McDowell). Carter has frequently impressed his colleagues and managers with his creativity. His latest success, a cell phone ad campaign which targets preschoolers with dinosaur multi-colored mini phones, that roar instead of ring, has put smiles on GlobeCom employees' faces.Read more ›
The film deals with a subject of recent and continuing importance (though not quite as trendy as "outsourcing"), the reckless transactions of megacorporations and consequent downsizing as the last dollar of immediate profit is squeezed out of purchased or merged enterprises. The related issue of displacement of older workers by young, energetic, cheaper ones also plays a part. The film is not just an economic essay, though, and the effects of the corporate manipulations on individual lives are its focus.
Dan (Dennis Quaid) is the 51 year old head of advertising sales for the magazine Sports America. When it is bought by the GlobalCom empire (headed by flimflamming guru "Teddy K") whizkid Carter (Topher Grace) is brought in to take over his department, and rounds of layoffs ensue amid a drive for enhanced sales and profits. Dan is not having the best year of his life .. in addition to demotion and uncertainty at work, his college student daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson), always the trusted buddy, becomes withdrawn and transfers from her local school to NYU (think, big money). His wife is unexpectedly pregnant, and between the two he must remortgage his house. Carter also has a rough time .. he doesn't relish the harsh realities of firing people; he buys a new Porsche, and wrecks it on the way out of the dealer's lot; his wife walks out on him. Then through several chance meetings, he finds himself able to talk openly and honestly to Alex (with that patented Johansson stare), eventually turning into a loving relationship which continues behind Dan's back.Read more ›
The main thrust of In Good Company is to sketch the lives of people caught in the throes of capricious M&As but it offers an accurate glimpse into modern office environments -- motivating co-workers, intra-office hostilities, nepotism and favoritism, and so forth -- much of which is handled with uncanny weight.
The movie is not without it lighter moments though, every mention of harebrained co-branding strategies or of platitudes like "synergy" had me grinning and cringing at the same time.
While the film's ultimate resolutions are too feel-good for its own good, it couches a great deal of sensitivity for its characters. We readily relate to the folks in the company. The flurry of indiscrimate downsizing is not easy to watch, nor is the apprehension thereof.
On the family front, father-daughter relationships are well played out. Dennis Quaid in his bipolar role of experience and naivete guns for the Jack Nicholesque and nearly gets there.
But no question, the show belongs to the youngsters. Scarlett Johansson continues in the same understated confident streak as Lost in Translation. Her chemistry with Topher Grace feels very natural, who by the way has to be among the most promising young actors around. His versatile performance hits just the right notes in both measured humor and complex poise. That we're able to feel for his whippersnapper character at all is evidence enough.
For its assured near-noirish tone or the soft rock on its soundtrack that captures two ends of the generational spectrum, I'd say this film would make for an exquisite evening rental. You won't be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Man I really enjoyed this movie. I like the great storyline that does not need to rely heavily on sex and violence. Read morePublished 6 months ago by M.
A good show, but not very realistic in today's world. Today the young and inexperienced replace the older experienced worker and run the company into the ground! Read morePublished 12 months ago by combat addict
About so many things- what constitutes good business practices and relationships (and personal ones), deciding what kind of person you want to be, what matters to you, learning new... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Trancelucence
A good comedy! It is family friendly for younger people as well, though I would definitely feel that it's more of an adult movie because of the subject matter. Read morePublished 15 months ago by CJ
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