In Good Company: 7/10
21 January 2005
There are three things you should never discuss with your barber: politics, religion, and the better of the two Quaid brothers. While most would probably say Dennis (present company included), don't give Randy the chop just because he hasn't hit a good role since the Vacation movies. But Dennis is becoming a less popular, less successful, less attractive Jude Law (he's been in four movies this year). The only one of his that became a large hit was The Day After Tomorrow. He, however, leads a talented cast in a movie by a talented writer. Paul Weitz (who, along with his brother Chris, made the American Pie movies and About a Boy) seems to have a knack for making "old people" movies (my God...I've never seen so many elderly people in a theater since I saw Closer!). Not that there's anything wrong with that-his movies deserve to bring in some bank.

Dan (Quaid) is an advertising executive whose company is taken over by Ted Turner, er, Teddy K (an uncredited Malcolm McDowell). Dan's demoted, much to his dismay, as his third child's on the way. Dan's new boss is Carter (Topher Grace), someone half his age. Through twists of fate, Carter winds up at Dan's house for dinner one night and meets his oldest (college-age) daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson). They fall in love (behind Dan's back), and soon it becomes a battle of the class, so to speak. Is it truly age before beauty? There's something about In Good Company that was just a little bit off. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I think it's the lack of one central plot. It goes from Dan's demotion to Carter's takeover to Carter courting Alex to another corporate takeover, without much connecting it all. The story's probably one of the most plausible of 2004, what which this topsy-turvy economy, and the movie's hitting it close to home. The characters in In Good Company are pretty realistic. Dan's the average American dad who's going through the hell of putting money together for colleges. There's one part where I think Quaid's character wasn't consistent. When Dan's youngest (soon to be middle) child is on the phone with her boyfriend, Dan picks up another phone and makes a threatening comment, something I couldn't see an average parent doing. Carter is more defined and easier to see into, but is also a more challenging one to play. Quaid's a much more accomplished actor (I mean, come on...Cold Creek Manor AND The Alamo back to back?), but Grace seems to not do this just for the paycheck.

However, In Good Company didn't really have much of the humor that About a Boy or American Pie had. Company had a simple story, and some simple humor. It's not very complicated at all, one of those movies you can sit back and enjoy watching. It's not going to tax your brain, you'll have a few small larfs or two, and you may learn something about yourself. Well, probably not, but it beats doing crack.

My rating: 7/10 Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and drug references.
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