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American Job (1996)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 1 critic

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Title: American Job (1996)

American Job (1996) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Randy Russell ...
The American Worker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matt Collier
Ed English
Gary Ganakas
Dan Layne
Eric Lezotte
Dave O'Meara
Charlie Smith
Tom Wheeler
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22 January 1996 (USA)  »

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Is it real or fantasy?
11 September 2000 | by (Osaka, Japan) – See all my reviews

I, like another reviewer, caught this on IFC, was caught off-guard, and got enmeshed in this, the American Worker's world. Who can't relate to this guy? Who hasn't had one of those crap jobs--and this movie seems to give a nice crap-job cross-sectional--that makes you just want to walk off and forget it was there and that you were ever a part of it? You mean to tell me you've never had to scrub a toilet or fry a basket of fries? You've never endured the realness of the American Experience? That is what this movie is about (for those with questions as to the movie's point). This movie is about what it means to many people to be an American. A counterpoint to bootstrap mythology. Whether you find it ugly or beautiful may attest to the quality of your character. Or at the very least, to the quality of cinema you are used to.

When I caught it, I missed the first five-or-so minutes so I didn't know exactly what I was watching. Was it cinema verite' or simply narrative? There were a few clues pointing to the later--as was the cast listing at the end--but some of it was so real it was as if I had been there before. Like I was the guy that left the job before him. Characters this great are born, not written. All of them were great, up and down the chain of command.

This was one of those movies that stayed with me well after the first viewing, kinda like a less-severe Gummo or Dancing Outlaw. If that type of cinema is your cup of tea--if you are a fan of Godard, Solondz (whom I thought the lead character was at first), LaButte, Korine, or Wenders--I highly recommend this movie to you. You won't be disappointed. If you are stuck on the old model of cinema, stuck on the boom boom boom and the t'n'a, stuck on the antiquated arc with the feelgood ending, you best run from this movie and instead rent a copy of Forest Gump or Bad Boys II.

Good stuff: 9/10


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