Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Good Company (2004)

In Good Company, meet Music and Lyrics.

Watching this 2004 comedy/drama from director Paul Weitz (About a Boy) reminded me of the Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore film recently reviewed on this site.

I commented how Music and Lyrics some times felt like a TV movie at times. In Good Company has the same feel. This film could have been made for a television network, rather than put on the big screen.


It's an agreeable film, often predictable, with some nice performances. The end. With the 2012 Olympics now on in London, I'd suggest In Good Company would definitely end out of medal contention.

The film does deal with some serious issues - corporate takeovers and downsizings.


Young buck Carter (Topher Grace) is sent to re-energize the sales team at a weekly American sports magazine. He bumps middle-aged boss Dan (Dennis Quaid). He's in his early 50s with a baby on the way with wife, Ann (Marg Helgenberger), and daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson) transferring to a pricey university in New York City.

In Good Company works best when it contrasts the lives of Carter and Dan.

There's some interesting crossover scenes involving the same item, such as a heart beat or a credit card.

Carter's the young kid on the move. He's making good coin. Carter is connected to the bigwigs in the company. He's earmarked as an up-and-comer. But Carter doesn't have a life. His wife leaves him less than a year into his marriage. A newly-bought Porshe is quickly banged up. He's hard pressed to even get some attention from his fish.

He looks at Dan's life and sees everything he's missing. A loving wife. A family. A real home.

Carter is axing jobs, but isn't keen to have Dan walk the plank. That might be because he's taken a shine to Alex, the talented athlete who's studying creative writing. In unexplained ways that tend to exist only in the movies, Carter is immediately smitten with Alex and reveals all his insecurities to her. Their relationship is kept hidden from dad until one day . . . . . . . .

In Good Company balances romance, family relationships and the cold world of bottom-line business. The pain of cutbacks is felt most strongly with Morty (David Paymer), a nice guy with a controlling wife. But Dan's showdown with corporate boss Teddy K (Malcolm McDowell) isn't a game changer. He dares question the big guy's vision, but in a room filled with employees old Ted has little to say. Say what? Where's the grand plan, Teddy K?

In Good Company has a solid cast with a so-so story. Your life can go on quite nicely without watching this film. RATING: 6/10

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