Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Movie Review - Office Space

Director: Mike Judge
Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Root
Year: 1999

Office Space is a comedy standard.  Its characters, jokes, and lines are a part of movie history now, not just pieces of some throwaway film.  It went beyond funny and became cult, becoming a must-see for anyone with a sense of humor.  What's its secret?  Honesty.  It's an honest look at every day life, highlighting the mundane & ridiculous grind we put ourselves through voluntarily.  The comedy of the movie relies on us knowing exactly how the characters feel because we've been there, we've seen that, and it's so real it hurts.  That's the genius of this film and the reason why it's still great today; it never forces the funny, it doesn't have to, the truth is absurd enough.

Peter hates his job.  He's not alone in that fact, his best friends Michael and Samir hate their work too, as do most of the employees at Inotech.  But Peter really hates it, measuring his life's happiness against the drudgery of his daily life.  Luckily for him, two things are about to change that will lead to a major change of pace.  1) Peter visits a hypnotherapist that accidentally helps him relax to the point that he literally doesn't care about anything.  And 2) Inotech hires a team of consultants whose job is to trim the fat and fire anyone who's useless.  With their careers on the line, the trio of buddies decide to take matters into their own hands and attempt to pull of the scam of the century.  Of course, they have to avoid getting caught, try not open their mouths to anyone (like Peter's girlfriend Joanna), and pray that their foolproof scheme doesn't land them in a federal penitentiary.

I don't use the word 'genius' lightly, but Office Space really is a comedic masterpiece.  It's gone beyond just being funny and become a movie that you could quote every day and never run out of hilarity.  The characters are just so real: Lumburgh the douche bag boss, Milton the squirrely guy, Bob & Bob the consultants, Tom the heart attack waiting to happen.  It's a cast of true stories only slightly taken over the top.  And that's what makes it so funny too, that Mike Judge didn't over do it while writing or directing the film.  He kept it honest, silly but honest, and that's what makes it great.  Livingston is great as Peter, though I can never see him as anything else when he appears in other films.  Aniston is solid as Joanna the steadying force.  Really, everything in the film works, from the music to the set, and what you end up with is a film that has no equal.  This is a must-watch if you've somehow let it slip by and a must-rewatch if it's been a while.  Do yourself a favor and have a good laugh; you just might feel better about your own life.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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