In Good Company (2004) Poster

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pied27 May 2005
Splendid performances by Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Scarlett Johannson.

Dennis Quaid plays the 51 year old ad executive whose company has been taken over by mogul Teddy Kay. Topher Grace is the hot shot who is sent into the mix to shake things up (fire people).

The interactions among the three stars is wonderful. I also enjoyed the genuine affection the family members had toward each other. It is nice to see family life portrayed in such a positive light.

The movie engaged me from beginning to end. The characters grow into their parts as the movie progresses.

By the unexpected ending I was totally engaged, caring about each one of these people.
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flotsom130 November 2004
I was able to see a pre-screening of this movie last night, and I was extremely excited because I have been anxiously waiting for its release. I have to admit that I was not disappointed in the least with what I saw. The movie had a good solid story of a middle-aged man dealing with both supporting his family and keeping his job (bordering on a mid-life crisis), and a young man dealing with a new job, being alone, and finding what he actually wants to do with the rest of his life. Sure, it sounds like a pretty typical "finding yourself" movie, but the characters develop the plot into something special. Topher Grace was excellent in this film. I found him very charming and believable, and he was sincere in his role. However, Dennis Quaid was really wonderful. His character was likable, and you found yourself routing for him throughout. His interactions with his family were endearing, and his relationship with his daughter Alex (Scarlett Johanssen) reminded me of my own father. I highly recommend this movie. 4/5
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Surprisingly VERY good
berisky-17 December 2004
Got in to see one of those audience recruited screenings. I was expecting sort of vanilla type movie, but was VERY PLEASANTLY is GOOD! Not superb, but definitely fun, original and very very topical! Dennis Quaid plays an ad exec whose company is taken over by a big conglomerate. Topher Grace, who is half Dennis' age, becomes his boss, and we see the dramatic and comedic dynamic (too may "ics") of the two men as they try to cope with an in flux work and home life. Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson are very good, but Topher Grace is the body slam surprise performance here. Also, as a bonus for the audience, all the supporting cast is filled in with great character actors. I hate spending ten bucks on a ho-hum movie, but this one is definitely worth it. Story-9, Acting-8, Humor-9, Drama-8....OVERALL: 8.5
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Very Good Company
elitt23 May 2005
What happens when a salesman in his early 50's is suddenly supplanted by a new young buck half his age, who also happens to be sleeping with his daughter? Dennis Quaid in one his best roles, plays Dan Foreman, an ad salesman at the golden point of his career. The magazine he works for is also part of a business conglomerate and when that're bought out, Carter (Topher Grace) is brought in to bring up revenue and replace Dan in his job. He also ends up firing many of the men that Dan hired, but keeps Dan on as sort of a wingman because Carter doesn't know anything about running an ad dept.

Dan's home-life is getting more complicated as well. His wife (Marg Helgenberger) is suddenly pregnant and his daughter (Scarlet Johannsen) is transferring to a more expensive university. Dan takes all this in stride the best he can because he knows he needs to hold on to his job because who'll hire a 52 year old salesman that commands his salary. But things start heading south as more and more of Dan's friends are fired and he soon realizes that Carter and his daughter are a couple.

This movie is very smartly written and very well acted. Quaid is at his best in these more reserved roles and Topher Grace is very good as the new stud, but unaware that he is in over his head. "In Good Company" is sort of an example of how out of control the business world has gotten with new technology and synergy, where the old timers really don't have much of a chance anymore because things are advancing so much. (***1/2)
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Great Office Depiction
Greg23 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes it takes a real good movie about a particular topic to notice that there are no real good movies about a particular topic. The corporate office is one of those topics. Millions of us commute varied distances five days a week to plop ourselves in an office or cubicle and work in front of a high powered computer to collaboratively work towards a corporation's yearly objectives. Yet for all the hundreds of millions of us that go through this process on a daily basis, there have been so few movies that have captured the stresses, the backstabbing and the emotional baggage between both employee and employer. Hollywood has tried to make light of the office atmosphere with such tripe fare as 9 to 5 and Two Weeks Notice, but the offices that were generally portrayed were filled with high-end furniture, fantastic looking staff in incredibly expensive clothing and bosses that were either reviled or secretly sexually doted on. The lack of a realistic depiction of this environment was in the forefront of my mind when I lined up at the ticket counter for In Good Company. Written and directed by Chris Weitz (American Pie) and starring Dennis Quaid (Flight of the Phoenix) and Topher Grace (Win A Date With Ted Hamilton), I didn't expect much in terms of an office environment that I could relate to. To my surprise, I was wrong. In Good Company starts with the takeover of a sports magazine by a large asset-sucking conglomerate. As with any takeover, tensions and rumors run high amongst the staff of the magazine where the advertising sales have been headed by Dan Foreman (Quaid) who himself has devoted 23 years to the organization. But with one swoop of the pen, the magazine is purchased and Foreman loses both his position and corner office to Carter Duryea (Grace), a 26-year old suit that has aspirations of kicking corporate ass without taking names. Dan's initial shock over the situation is only overshadowed by his complete astonishment of working for someone half his age with no previous advertising sales experience. He has a family to support – kids to put through college and leaving his post at age 51 for moral issues is not part of the future equation. On the flip side of the coin, there is Carter, the young fish out of water that openly admits to a stranger on an elevator that he has no idea what he is doing. But it's a chance of a lifetime. An opportunity to give himself the life he always wanted - fortune, fame (in the form of senior recognition) and acceptance. With unsure eyes, he gains confidence in a development strategy. A career is born. But things go downhill for Carter much faster than his new wingman Dan. His dream Porsche gets smashed before pulling out of the dealer's lot and his wife leaves him on the same day. Carter decides therefore to live out of the office until a rhetorical and sarcastic invitation is offered by Dan to have dinner with his family. It is during Carters' introduction to the family that the chemistry between Dan's young daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson) and his new boss sparkles into a brushfire. When the two accidentally meet in the city weeks later, the relationship goes from a youthful infatuation to a full-blown romance. And this is where writer/director Weitz really impressed me. Both stories, that of the uncertainty within the office and the relationship between Carter and Alex unbeknownst to Dan are so strong and interesting that you can't put a label on which of the two is actually the sub-plot. Weitz is able to both stories and intertwine their relationships without having one feel like it is simply a crutch for the other. This may sound easy, but think of all the sub-plots in movies you've seen this year and how secondary story lines are there simply to either give an actor a bigger role or to stretch out the running time without adding value to the end product. In Good Company has many good points. The acting by the leads is top rate and the Grace and Johansson paring could end up being the Hanks/Ryan of the new millennium. These two above average youngsters took roles that may even have read cliché on the script pages and made interesting, vulnerable characters that seemed to grow years during the films 109 minute running time. But what I noticed most was the bit characters in the film and how well Weitz kept them real and founded in real emotion without going over the top for purposes of an extra laugh or dramatic moment. The office is filled with characters of different colors and sizes and they react to the downsizing with expected anxiety. They wonder what they will tell their wives. They wonder how they will support their families. And they leave in a fit of rage, feeling betrayed and under delusional impressions that the company will soon learn they have made a mistake. In Good Company is one of the best office setting films since In The Company of Men. Big recommendation.
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Foxhole Synergy
David Ferguson5 December 2004
Greetings again from the darkness. Saw the Dallas premiere this evening of the newest from director Paul Weitz ("About a Boy" and "American Pie"). Weitz continues to show promise as a director, although again he struggles with poor pacing, even sometimes dragging the story line. Overall, this one will surprise as it is not as formulaic as the previews would lead us to believe. Dennis Quaid ("Far From Heaven", "The Alamo") continues his resurgence into movie stardom with another fine turn, this time as a middle aged ad salesman whose world gets rocked personally and professionally all in one day. Topher Grace ("That 70's Show") is the Yin to Quaid's Yang when he is introduced as his half-his-age, with no experience boss. Of course, it only gets worse for Quaid as his new, young boss falls for Quaid's college student daughter, Scarlett Johansson ("Lost in Translation" and "Girl With a Pearl Earring") AND his wife tells him she is pregnant - despite "being past all that". Johansson doesn't deliver the nuanced performance of "Lost in Translation", but Topher Grace will awaken many to his acting ability (check him out in "Traffic"). Philip Baker Hall, David Paymer and Marg Helgenberger are all fine in supporting roles and the great Malcom MacDowell is terrific in a brief cameo as a corporate big wig similar to Warren Buffett. Nice little story that provides a few touching moments and a couple of good laughs. This one should have decent box office appeal, while providing a Hollywood anomaly by displaying a well adjusted, happy family.
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Too much obvious humor, but it hits on some corporate bull's-eyes
moonspinner5523 January 2005
Dennis Quaid is a husband and family man whose job as an advertising executive for a sports magazine is on shaky ground; there's been a corporate takeover and the new owners install a 26-year-old go-getter as Quaid's boss. Far too much corny, obvious humor (Topher Grace's car, Quaid discovering a pregnancy test box in the garbage) is redeemed by Quaid's nearly faultless performance. Never one to be scaled down without an effort, Quaid admirably gives himself over to this role; he doesn't chew the scenery (as Jeff Bridges might) and he doesn't go for broad personal affects (as Nicolas Cage might). In fact, he's perfect. Topher Grace has a difficult role (almost villainous--nobody likes THE BOSS), but he doesn't resort to sniveling and has many successful scenes. As Quaid's eldest daughter, luminous Scarlett Johansson has developed some actorly tics that I'm not fond of (faraway looks and smiles, confusion and curiosity always undercut by wistfulness), yet she does wonders with a thankless role. **1/2 from ****
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Sprightly, Well-Acted Comedy/Drama That Overcomes the Threat of Predictability
Ralph Michael Stein17 January 2005
Director/scriptwriter Paul Weitz was blessed with a top cast for his comedy/drama "In Good Company." Here's a film that in some ways resembles and is a bit of a genre successor to "The Graduate," that 1960s iconoclastic gem. Even the new songs complement the story in the same way Simon and Garfunkel's lyrics melded with the story line in "The Graduate." Dennis Quaid as Dan Foreman is in his early fifties, a contented manager of a sports mag's ad department. His home life seems almost too good to be true. He loves his wife, Ann (Marg Helgenbergen) and gets on well with his two teenage daughters. The older one, Alex (Scarlett Johansson, in another deep and convincing performance), has a tennis scholarship to a New York State public university where the tuition isn't exactly sky high. But she wants to transfer to New York University in Greenwich Village to study creative writing where the cost is very, very steep.

Almost before you can get into your tub of popcorn Dan is struck with multiple whammies. His magazine is taken over by a mega-corporate raider, Teddy K, and a new ad department honcho, Carter Duryea (Topher Grace), only twenty-six years young, bounces Dan from his executive office while also anointing him as his designated "wingman." Earnest, inexperienced, foppish, supercilious and dangerous in that special way the inept invariably are, he poses a real threat to Dan's future. And Dan is worried about his future because Ann announces she's having a change-of-life baby.

And then Scarlett meets Carter. You need me to tell you what Dan's next mid-life crisis will be? "In Good Company" could have been just a mildly amusing sitcom. The fast-paced acting and the excellence of the cast - especially Quaid and young (she's still a teen) Johansson - kept me glued to the screen for the whole showing. And I admit to being troubled by the issues underlying and scenes showing peremptory firings. There's some ambiguity here - is that the only way for a prosperous corporation to go? Dan's pain at losing long-time co-workers is deeply etched on his face but is he more sentimental and loyal than realistic? I don't know. From the vantage point of a tenured academic with lifetime employment I found myself dragged into questions that I think Weitz meant to raise. Well, he did anyway.

Small roles are well performed by David Paymer as one of Dan's subordinates and Selma Blair who briefly shows up in the beginning as Carter's new wife, Kimberly. I always enjoy seeing this fine actress but her talent is wasted in brief roles.

And Manhattan restaurants where I eat and stores where I shop are all over the well-shot scenes and that always makes me happy.

A very good film.

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Wonderful Movie
DJDiG23 May 2005
This movie is one of my new favorites.

When a sports magazine gets bought out, Dave Foreman, an ad sales executive (Dennis Quaid) finds himself playing second-in-command to Carter Duryea (Topher Grace), a hotshot barely half his age.

Dave becomes both a rival and father figure to Carter as the two struggle to get through life.

Carter invites himself over to Dave's house to escape his loneliness, where he meets Dave's daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson).

The movie is more about emotion than plot. The acting comes across so genuine and moving.

Viewers of all ages would enjoy this movie, not just fans of Topher Grace.

It has a rather unusual ending which adds to the movie's touching nature.
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garethvk13 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) is a man with goals. At 26, he is heading his mega-companies cell phone sales, and is being groomed for bigger and better things. A golden opportunity is handed to Carter when his company acquires another mega company resulting in his placement in the recently acquired Sports magazine division.

The Sports publication is seen as the jewel of the newly acquired company, and even though he has zero experience with selling magazine advertisement, Carter is sure he can meet the lofty goals he boss has set.

At what should be his greatest moment, carter is troubled as his 7-month marriage to Kimberly (Selma Blair), is falling apart largely due to his workaholic nature and his inability ever to stop thinking or talking about work even when he is on vacation.

On the other side of the spectrum from Carter is Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid), a father of two daughters and devoted family man, who has been a salesperson at the magazine for twenty years and until the arrival of Carter, head of the department. At 51, Dan is feeling his years as the younger and ambitious Carter seems to be his polar opposite as well as a reminder that his best years may be behind him. Further complicating matters is that Dan's wife Ann (Marg Helgenberger), is pregnant with their third child at a time when they both thought children were past them.

Despite their differences, Dan and Carter work with one another, despite conflicts over issues ranging the future of the company to planned layoffs of staff personally picked years ago by Dan. One day after inviting himself to dinner at Dan's home, Carter meets Dan's college aged daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson), who although only 21 catches the eye of Carter.

Months later a chance meeting between Alex and the recently divorced Carter gives rise to a friendship/romance between the two that causes Carter to question his life and envy the family life Dan has been able to create and maintain over the years.

Naturally Dan would not approve of the relationship between carter and Alex so they must keep this a secret as there is enough tension in the workplace due to the ever changing business dynamics.

What follows is a touching, funny, and at times bittersweet look at life, love, business, and friendship that does a remarkable job of making the characters not only real, but sympathetic as for the most part, there are no bad people in this story, only those who are confused and unsure about life.

The strength in the film is mixed well between a good script, solid direction by Paul Weitz, and solid performances by all the leads. The pacing of the film is perfect as it never seems rushed and does not drag in parts. Even when two characters are having a simple discussion over how to best approach a client, the film always holds your interest. It was refreshing to see a movie that did not take the easy way out and try to wrap everything in a pretty bow at the films end, but rather like life, left new opportunities and directions as possibilities as after all, that is what life is.

There is also a very good message to the film about what is really important in life and the need to have priorities rather than title and position as the real measure of success is happiness, security and love rather than position and material goods.

Easily the best film of 2005 and one of the better films in recent memory..

5/5 Gareth Von Kallenbach + Syndicated Publications.
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