Classic Intel: Office Space - Online Review

'Livingston is the perfect every-man lead for all us Average-Joe's to project our every day problems on to'

Mike Judge's much-praised 1999 comedy about a group of disgruntled office workers, Office Space falls into the same bucket as Judge's more recent effort Extract: its funny but not in spades, its clever but it doesn't have a degree. Office Space is a well observed portrait of everyone's frustrations with corporate culture but it rarely reaches laugh-out-loud funny and, like Extract, there are several examples of scenes that could have been taken further or injected with more humour.

Take 'The Bobs' (John C. McGinley and Paul Willson) for example. They're a pair of consultants hired to review the workplace and, ultimately, fire anyone deemed to not be necessary. Initially McGinley is set up as a slimy cohort of Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole) but he never emerges as such; he's just a fairly normal guy with a ruthless job. Ditto Wilson. And thus, there endeth the laughs that could have been pulled from that situation.

Once Judge moves out of the gentle situation comedy, the plot perks with the arrival of love interest Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) and a dastardly plan for two employees (David Herman and Ajay Naidu) to get their own back on the company that fired them. Both strands are united by lead man Ron Livingston whose screen presence is designed to enable the audience to be entirely sympathetic to his character. It works a treat and Livingston is the perfect every-man lead for all us Average-Joe's to project our every day problems on to. It's a very well-judged performance and it ensures that the film stays affable and charming, which it is right up to its final moments.

Highlights aside from Livingston include Aniston who suits the lo-fi script much more than she suits mainstream Rom-Coms which she has gorged upon more recently. Diedrich Bader is good fun as Livingston's working-class neighbour and the famous scene in the field is nicely built up to. It's a clever little comedy but Judge seems destined to leave viewers wanting more, purporting a unique brand of comedy which favours subtle observation over more obvious joke-mongering.

Office Space is currently available on Sky Go and Sky Anytime for users with an appropriate subscription.

Look further...

'[there is] something liberating in Judge's depiction of a business world that has--doubtless taking its cues from one of Judge's own employers, MTV--institutionalized zany informality' - Slate

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of my daily grind in maintaining the office space in legaspi village. I like it because it makes me laugh. That's about it.