That Cell-Phone Guy
What is the common link between films like the American Pie series, Down to Earth, and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps? They are written, produced and or directed by Paul Weitz. Not really a collection of films to inspire me to see any of his new productions. Thankfully I didn't know this before I went to see In Good Company (btw the site has some great music).
In Good Company is about the unstable world of large corporations and the effect it can have on the people who work within them. The basic concept sounds like a movie I would normally sleep through, but the film turns out to be heartwarmingly watchable. Dennis Quaid plays Dan Foreman, a 51 year old sales executive, who's company has been bought out by a large multi-national, resulting in Dan being demoted and replaced by Topher Grace's Carter Duryea, a hot-shot new up-and-comer who is only half Dan's age.
Most of Dan's former staff are fired and his job is also on the line. Dan's home life is changing also. With two daughters, one of whom is about to move away for college, and the news of a baby on the way, job stability and security is something he needs to fight for.
Quaid plays a very down-to-Earth father and serious businessman. Far more grounded than the 'throw logic into the wind' character that trekked across frozen New York to save his son in The Day After Tomorrow. Weitz has made a good move by casting him against Topher Grace, who's comedic background could have been the demise of this film, actually convinces us that he's a total ass at the start of the film but leaves enough ground for the eventual, and expected, redemption.
What would a film about regular people be without the love story that causes more conflict. Scarlett Johansson plays Alex, Dan's eldest daughter who has just moved to the city to attend college. She meets Carter in the city and the two have the inevitable relationship. All I can say is that everything in In Good Company is handled with a light touch and a sense of grace.
It's not a ground breaking film, although it does deal with with many current issues. It's unlikely to go down in the annals of history as a story that changed the way we think. It is simply a well acted, finely directed film that Weitz should be proud of and that I would recommend to see.
If a film leaves me with a sense of hope, then what more can I ask.