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Office Space
1999 - R - 89 Mins.
Director: Mike Judge
Producer: Daniel Rappaport, Michael Rotenberg
Written By: Mike Judge
Starring: Ron Livingston, Ajay Naidu, David Herman, Stephen Root and Jennifer Aniston
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Ever felt the pressures of every-day life? Ever gotten tired of your cubicle job? Ever had an epiphany? Ever stopped going to work?

"Office Space" is a genuinely superb and playful parody, that plays on so many every-day things that you start laughing like crazy. Who wouldn't like to take the office fax machine out to an open field and smash the bejeezes out of it? Who wouldn't like to just stop coming to work and get promoted for doing so? Who wouldn't like to ignore their boss' calls? Who wouldn't like to ignore their boss?

Peter (Ron Livingston) does all of this in "Office Space," a hilarious real-life parody that deals with something not many films do: Work. In this case, Peter works at Inotech, or something ending in "tech," where there is an odd assortment of characters, including his boss who talks just like your boss, with really weird expressions, and Milton, a stuttering, mumbling, glasses-wearing freak whose office cubicle gets moved so many times during the duration of the film, we eventually see his desk in the basement. (Where his boss tells Milton to get down on his hands and knees and get rid of their roach infestation problem.)

One day Peter just decides that he no longer feels like going to work, and so he stops going, simple as that. Soon his pesky boss is calling him every few minutes, but Peter ignores the calls. Soon he goes in for an interview with casual clothes on, and the interviewers, so impressed by Peter's casualness, actually give him a raise. But Peter then finds out they are firing his friends/co-workers, so Peter and his two friends use a scheme to rob the Inotech company of "fractions of a penny." Peter says he heard of this before, and his friend says, "Yeah, they did it in 'Superman III.'"

That's one of the things I love about this movie. The way the characters are so blunt. I love when Peter's friend says about how the penny-taking scheme was used in "Superman III," because I don't believe I've ever heard a character in a film reference another film's identical plot so bluntly. Director Mike Judge really puts everything out there, he doesn't hold back. Other films might wink at "Superman III's" plot, but he actually references it, and like I said before, I don't think that I've ever seen this done before or since.

"Office Space" is the victim of clever writing. It is based on animated shorts called "Milton," and I can't say it's too surprising as all the characters in this film could easily be cartoon characters, especially Milton. Most of them have dorky glasses, moustaches, and greasy hair. They all look like weird hybrids that could only spawn in the office cubicles. The director, Mike Judge, creator of "Beavis and Butthead," gets some clever things in this film. The best scene in the entire movie is when three office employees take a broken fax machine out into an open field and smash it up with a baseball bat. One of the employees gets vicious with the thing, smashing it with his foot and jumping on it. The other two men, including Peter, have to restrain him.

Anyone who has a job should see "Office Space." Anyone who likes funny stuff should see "Office Space." And that's that.
 
Movie Guru Rating
An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant. An important film.  A substantive artistic achievement.  Resonant.
  4.5 out of 5 stars

 
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