Office Space (1999)

GREAT COMEDY! I laughed extremely hard through this film, and I will go so far as to say that anyone who has ever worked in an office cubical situation will be able to appreciate every bit of the humor presented. This was one of those small-time movies that just popped up out of nowhere but really is worth taking some time to see. It hasn’t been publicized much, at least not that I’ve seen, and the only big-name actor in the billing is Jennifer Aniston so there hasn’t been a lot of media hype, and sometimes I think that says that a film is just really no good. Other times it seems that it’s just been underrated.

Based on the comic strip Milton by Mike Judge (also the creator of Beavis and Butthead) Office Space goes the extra length to take pretty much every stereotype in the book and magnify it to the umpteenth degree. Imagine every weird coworker you’ve ever encountered…every cubical you’ve ever worked in…every boss you’ve wanted to strangle, put them in a company called Initech, and then move them all to The Far Side and you might just have an idea of what this movie is all about. The main character in the film isn’t Milton, however, as the comic strip title would suggest. Instead it’s a guy named Peter (played by Ron Livingston). Milton is in the film and adds a really humorous (but also sad) dimension to the movie (there is a certain level of morbid humor throughout). Stephen Root (who is best known for his character Jimmy James on News Radio) plays Milton and really gives the best performance overall.

There is an underlying plot line, in case you were wondering. The company (Initech) calls for a couple of consultants, known as “Efficiency Experts” to come in and do a little—shall we say—‘housecleaning’. As one insane plot builds on another, the Efficiency Experts promote Peter, but fire two of his fellow cubical-mates so they all begin scheming together to find a way to rip off their evil and incredibly patronizing boss, Lumburgh (played by Gary Cole).

Another facet of working that’s touched on is done by Jennifer Aniston’s character, Joanna, who’s a waitress at a restaurant which is clearly a joke version of TGI Friday’s. As a former waitress myself, I fully empathized with Aniston’s character and the trivial pressures that are put on someone in the food service industry. It’s still amazing to me how these people can get so hung up on the dumbest things like how many buttons you have on your uniform! Aniston did a good job and was roughly on par with every other performance in this film. This is not a movie that will be recognized by the Oscars, but I don’t think that’s what any of them were going for.

Offices are not always fun environments to work in, but thanks to them, movies like this one can be made!
Worth the money…go see it.