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Dan is a 51 year old executive who learns that his company is being restructured and he is being demoted. Carter who is 26 replaces him. Dan who has two teenage daughters and his wife is expecting another, decides to suck it up and work for Carter. Carter's wife leaves him, later he meets Alex whom unknown to him is Dan's daughter. They have a relationship, until Dan finds out. Written by
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With 2004 behind us, theatres will fill up space with leftover '04 films until the new 2005's push them out of the way. But with In Good Company, it is solely counted as a 2004 only because NY and LA got to see it two days before the New Year. Now what the hell were they smoking when they thought of that? With the quality delivered in In Good Company, it's a shame it can't be considered as an '05 because it would have started the year off pretty damn greatly. In Good Company is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2004.
From the director of American Pie, Down to Earth, and About A Boy (sounds like a pretty bad track record so far), comes In Good Company. Written and directed by Paul Weitz, In Good Company is a realistic story set in today's business, corporate world. It's a mature, feel good film filled with comedy, drama, and much business shown in corporate offices, companies, etc. This film is mature as in the humor. It's not adult, it's jokes people over 30 or 40 would enjoy the most because the film's angle is aimed at older audiences so it would appeal to them. It's for appeal so older couples or any mature person could enjoy. For example, I went to see it tonight (January 15, 2005); it was sold out and there were 5 people tops under 20. All of the others went for Elektra...
The film is grazed with an amazing cast. The casting is perfect with Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, Marg Helgenberger (CSI) and more. What makes the film amazing is the "odd couple effect" established with Quaid and Topher Grace. Dennis Quaid has had a sensational 2004 with The Alamo, The Day After Tomorrow, Flight of the Phoenix, and now Company. Meanwhile, That 70's Show star Topher Grace is well known to his fans yet wasn't known to the rest of the world before Company. With his breakthrough performance in Company, Topher Grace now has his name known yet a lot of his fans can't stop thinking it's Eric Foreman on screen.
Dan Foreman (Quaid) has been in the ads and sales business for "Sports America" (Sports Illustrated I guess...), a popular sports magazine, for 25 years. When the company's owner takes an irresponsible spending spree (or whatever the movie calls it), a new, greedier, corporation buys out the company and Dan worries about him and his employees' future. As the film starts out slow, his world is described. Next thing Dan knows, he's working for a 26-year-old businessman named Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) as he loses his job as boss. When Carter starts to sink down with his new attention, he divorces his wife (Selma Blair), and buys a brand spanking new Porsche, which gets strongly dented as he pulls out of the dealership's driveway. Dan starts to sink as well as he got demoted and his fiery, redheaded wife (Helgenberger) gets a very late pregnancy. As they interchange with each other at work, they start to get to know more about each other as Carter is lonely and wants a family like Dan's. (Think of Frank Grimes and his envy for Homer). Then Carter secretly starts a relationship with Dan's oldest daughter, Alex (Scarlett Johansson) and when they are revealed, Dan reaches his breaking point.
(What a coincidence as I write this review, Topher Grace is starring in this weekend's Saturday Night Live)
Dennis Quaid surprisingly does an amazing job as Dan. I knew he'd be good but I didn't think he'd play this character so damn well. Topher Grace is another story. With this breakthrough performance, I'm sure many will believe that Topher as potential in major films in the near future. Marg Helgenberger brings a delightful, fiery zing needed for the film and Scarlett Johansson is not only eye candy but does a great performance, and I mean great. Smaller other roles from actors like David Paymer (one of Dan's oldest friends and employees), Clark Gregg (the "bad guy" if you will), and Philip Baker Hall (the owner of a sister company of Sports America) bring hearty, older comedy to the film.
Paul Weitz now has 4 films under his cap. In Good Company is the one that definitely stands out. His direction seems perfect throughout and his screenplay is one of the most original of 2004, in my opinion. Kudos to him as his hard work is shown in IGC. There's one funny editing mistake in the film too. During an intimate scene between Carter and Alex, a microphone dangles down to break the sexual atmosphere as my whole theatre burst into major laughter. As some explained on the message board though, it was probably a projecting error in my theatre.
Overall, In Good Company is the comedy/drama version of The Bourne Supremacy this year. It's a film for older audiences or people mature enough, as it is not kid-licious material that can be appreciated by all. It depicts the corporate world filled with greedy bastards, hardships, and synergies. The performances are top-notch as Dennis Quaid is at his best and Topher Grace finally breaks through. Weitz' calm, funny direction makes the film easy to get into and has a very comfortable atmosphere and the screenplay is superb.
However, the ending is pro-longed as it has originality, yet it isn't original enough. The movie is predictable but enjoyable that way. I strongly recommend IGC to many adults and people under 18 mature enough to absorb the story. In Good Company is a very enjoyable film and is a great way to put most of 2004 behind us. As we all know, it's Mr. Oscar's job to conclude a year.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (A Low 8.5)
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