I saw this film as part of a film series last night. This film was hosted by Tom Gilroy who is good friends with Chris Smith and was able to relay lots of information about the film. Some important facts have been missed by other reviewers:
Most importantly, this isn't fiction -- at least it wasn't scripted. Instead Chris asked Randy to revisit all of the crappy jobs he had, worked with all the original folks from those jobs, and filmed it all. There were no actors, and no dialog was scripted. Randy and his coworkers/bosses were merely asked to replay the circumstances while Chris filmed at the actual locations. Some folks are more aware of the camera than others, but everyone in the film is "playing" themselves.
Now quick comments: 1) This is groundbreaking cinema in that it accurately portrays boredom. Its pseudo-documentary television is unique and much more real than reality television. For this reason alone, the film is important. The craft is also very grand and the editing tells the story well and the way Chris intended.
2) This makes a great sociological statement about the state of work in America. This should be a part of everyone's consciousness. So many Americans work in jobs like this. To address a comment above, it isn't that Randy has a bad work ethic, he just knows that this is not the way he wants to live, and the only power he has is to leave a job (which is very powerful actually -- have you ever walked out on a job?).
3) This is the most boring movie I've ever seen. It's supposed to be. It's craft is riveting (see 1), it's statement is bold (see 2), but the actual images and non-action are as dull and numbing as Randy's jobs.
Make sure and approach it the right way, and this can be entertaining, without context, this would be unwatchable.
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