Well I posted last week about how the makers of the film In Good Company were offering a free screening to bloggers willing to write about the film. Well they didn’t have one in Louisville so I didn’t get to see it for free. They did, however send me a T-Shirt and a hat. Turns out I was also a finalist for the free private screening but did not win, so as a consolation they sent me a fetching leather bag.
We saw the movie yesterday and it was…. OK. I didn’t love it and didn’t hate it.
There was a mixed perspective among the 6 of us who saw it (Keri’s familiy) together. I have to say that it is NOT the romantic comedy I was expecting, and I don’t know if that expectation was generated by the marketing or by myself. In fact, the relationship between Carter (Topher Grace) and Alex (Scarlett Johannson) is NOT the focus or point of the movie.
In fact that relationship is clearly the source of the film’s weaknesses. It happens too suddenly and quickly and seems to lack any kind of development. They just hang out a little while and, as always happens in Hollywood, they hit the sack quickly. (Now, to their credit, the act itself is not shown, but you know it happens. Why is it that love cannot be taken as sincere or a relationship as real and serious without sex?)
The real story of the movie seems to be two (maybe three if we count Alex) characters who find themselves in sometimes difficult and awkward transitions in their lives. Dan (Dennis Quaid) is a 51 year old who works as the sales manager with a major sports publication (think Sports Illustrated) and enjoys a typical though satisfying suburban life with his wife and two daughters.
His world is turned upside down by a series of events that begins when the magazine’s parent company is taken over. Carter (Topher Grace) is a young (26) but driven and successful sales guy who, after the corporate takeover, assumes Dan’s job and, hence, becomes his boss. Their lives and careers intertwine in interesting and sometimes funny ways as Carter’s life outside of his career quickly falls apart. Though he is Dan’s boss, he soon sees in Dan the kind of life he wants to lead. For his part, Dan’s career is threatened and frustrated as the stakes get higher due to events in his family life.
So it’s a nice story of figuring out what’s important in life.
I have some thoughts about the ending that I won’t write because it may ruin it. But there is a certain real-life quality to the end that is not always evident in Hollywood films. I will say that the acting (and casting) is pretty good. The script had the potential to be better than it was and I would be interested in seeing deleted scenes to see what might have been (hopefully more development of the relationship between Alex and Carter).
So, I don’t love it and wouldn’t buy the DVD. But it’s worth watching as a matinee or a rental.