Monday, 21 September 2020
In Good Company
Sunday, 16 January 2005 17:46

Directed by Paul Weitz ("About A Boy"), "In Good Company"  is the latest in a trend of feel-good drama/comedies.

Denis Quaid stars as Dan Foreman, the Advertising Sales Manager at a popular sports magazine. When the magazine is bought out by a corporate monster, he is demoted and replaced by a business whiz-kid named Carter (Topher Grace). Carter takes a liking to Dan, especially when he realizes that his 51 year old employee has the home life that he himself has always dreamed of. A loving wife, a baby on the way, and an exceptional daughter that Carter has an instant connection with! But there is only so much a man can take, especially when he is being humiliated by his 26 year old boss!

For the most part I really enjoyed most of this movie. A good slice of it concentrates on the very real human emotions felt when someone's work is in jeopardy. The actions and reactions of the workers to the changes going on rings true. Quaid depicts this well, showing everything from frustration and anger in the workplace, to resolve and stoic courage in the company of his family who don't realize what he is going through.

This film has a great time making use of the age gap between its two leading men. With well written, well rounded characters Grace and Quaid fit easily into the roles. They play off of each other really well, providing some really great comedic moments that feel fresh and spontaneous.

It is only about three quarters of the way into the movie, that I realized I didn't like the way things were headed. Although the comedic integrity continues, the stories integrity fades. What started out to be a quirky story that felt true to life, starts to fit too tightly into Hollywood formula:

Dan and Carter learn some valuable life lessons, (especially the one about relationships being more valuable than money). Then they throw in the typical heroic speech that leaves everyone cheering the little guy. After that the bad guy will get knocked off his high horse, and maybe things will get back to normal. All will be right with the world again. Crisis averted.

Overall this is a nice little movie with a lot of enjoyable moments. I think it had the potential to be great, but ends up only a step above the rest. The perfect resolution leaves me with the feeling that nothing was resolved at all.