Office Space Movie Review

Give Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge enough rope, and he may just hang himself. In his first live-action outing, Judge does a fair job at making sick jokes about corporate America, he just doesn't seem to make enough of them, ultimately leaving Office Space a bit flat.

Straight from Swingers, Ron Livingston makes a surprisingly good Everyman as Peter, so sick of his job ("In a week, I'd say I do 15 minutes of real work.") that he goes to a hypnotherapist for relaxation treatment. Of course (and the trailer doesn't tell you this), the therapist dies while Peter is under, leaving him in an ultra-relaxed state without a care in the world. (What's particularly funny is that Office Space was shot in high-tech ghetto north of my old hometown of Austin, Texas, where the "go-getter" attitude is severely frowned-upon.)

Anyway, after the therapy, Peter has a whole new outlook on work. But oddly, Peter soon goes from apathetic to outright seditious, all while imminent downsizing is about to take place. This culminates in a silly subplot lifted from Superman III (they say so right in the movie!) about stealing fractions of pennies from the company.

That Peter gets a new girl (Aniston) in the bargain is foregone conclusion. That plenty of apropos, out-of-place wackiness is included, courtesy of Judge, is also a given.

Now I'm not a killjoy. I've had lots of jobs that are very much like Initech's idiocracy. Sadly, I'm afraid that too many people are going to genuinely take Judge's advice and try to get promoted by sleeping in and being lazy. While the underlying message is sound (Don't take work too seriously: It's just a job!), Judge might have been wise to preface the film with the same message given on episodes of B&B: "Don't try this at home."

UPDATE: No idea what was wrong with me here. Must have been in a bad mood that day. I put too much emphasis on the Superman story and not enough on the little things that have made Office Space such a classic. Bad brain, bad! I could set the place on fire...

Livingston gets livid.


Comments

Office Space Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: R, 1999

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