Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Company Men

First, don't confuse this movie with the similarly-titled, In the Company of Men. Two different movies.

Second, this movie is a farce.

I enjoyed it well enough and will likely watch it again but it has some issues that reminded me of Wallstreet 2.

The main character loses his cushy corporate job and finds himself in the wonky world of the Blue-Collar man.

I think we are supposed to feel like he learns something important about how lucky he is to be living the corporate lifestyle and that the Blue-Collars are important too. But that message is lost somewhere. Maybe I'm wrong and only suspected that to be the plot since most of the White-Collar-man-turns-Blue-Collar stories go that route.

But not this one.

We find out he's been working with his company for about twelve years. He is currently making 120k per year. After a few weeks of being unemployed he has to sell the house and move in with his wife's parents. Sell the Porsche. Get a job with his brother-in-law the carpenter...oh and spend some quality time with his son...I guess.

The problem here is that there is only one major splurge...a golf club membership.

At 120k a year, with only one child, why is he still making payments on the car? Maybe the house was a little big for a three-person family, but it's in the middle of an average middle-class neighborhood...or maybe slightly higher than middle class. It couldn't have cost more than 500k. I'm actually thinking is was more like 200-300k.

So, he's got the house, the car, and a club membership. There is no boat in the driveway or mention of one elsewhere. No additional properties. No evidence of lavish expenditures (we see one corporate wife has just purchased a table that costs a few thousand dollars). He seems to be an average man with average luxuries. Yet with his high income, he is actually ushered into the poor house after only a couple of months. I think we missed something here.

Anyway, he throws a hissy fit an out-state job offer, gets angry over the competition he faces, snubs his nose at his secretary when she asks about her own job security, reluctantly accepts the carpentry job with his brother-in-law...but thankfully gets back into the corporate setting after losing everything.

So, what was the point of this movie?

Was it just to show that corporate executives are people too?

Because with winning quotes like, "I don't want to be just another asshole with a resume!", I think something was lost in translation. Yet, it sums up exactly what the movie is about.

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