Review: In Good Company

The movie, In Good Company, starring Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace (Eric from That Seventy's Show) is called a workplace comedy drama, and for good reason.

The acting and writing provide a refreshing step away from many of the pieces of shallow movie-fare that we've been seeing lately and the concentration on situational and fitting comedy as opposed to slapstick provides an audience with a bit more maturity a much better value for their movie-going dollar than knock-off, rehashed comedy such as Meet the Fokkers.

Both Carol and I liked the film. There are many situations with which people will doubtlessly be familiar if they have ever worked in any type of workplace. The mergers, the layoffs, the near-arbitrary replacement of coworkers and bosses. Anyone with experience in a big organization will end up spending a fair portion of the film shaking their head up and down.

However, what I found even more interesting was a film that takes the subject of work seriously. One that tears down this notion that everybody is just out to pump up their numbers and screw the customer and that instead there are still some people out there who believe that providing a product that people actually want and need is something worth doing and feeling proud of.

Make no mistake, there's a comedy in here, and some of the scenes will have you slapping your knee and doubled over, but there is also some message here, and one which seems oddly out of step with the current Hollywood view of both work and workers.

Add to this an interesting pair of main characters, for whom not everything is neatly tied up by the end of the film. We see some well-done relationships and a sense of confusion that's palpable. All in all, very well written and acted.

The tone of the film is not frenetic, although it keeps a good pace throughout. I knew that there was something familiar about the way the film was put together, and part of it appears to be Paul Weitz, the writer/director of this film and also the director and screenwriter of About a Boy.