tek's rating: ½

Office Space (R)
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This came out in 1999, but I didn't see it in its entirety until 2021, on DVD. It's something I've always vaguely wanted to see just because of its cult status, and also because of memes it inspired. But I also sort of dreaded watching it, because I didn't think I'd actually like it. (I may have seen a bit of it on TV once, but if so I didn't finish it, whether because I decided very early on that I didn't like it, or else for a reason I can't recall.) But I ended up liking it slightly more than I expected to. I thought if I ever did see it, I'd put my review in the "weird" category, but now that I've seen it, I decided to just file it under "comedy". It was written and directed by Mike Judge, and is nominally based on his animated shorts about a character named Milton, which aired on Saturday Night Live in the mid-90s, and I must have seen at least a little bit of that. (And probably didn't much care for it.) But in this movie, Milton (Stephen Root) is just a minor character.

The main character is Peter Gibbons, who has a job he hates at a company called Initech. And he has eight bosses he hates, the main one being Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). He also has a girlfriend named Anne, who he suspects is cheating on him. His friends, including his neighbor Lawrence (Diedrich Bader) have the same feeling. One day Anne makes him go to a hypnotherapist, who puts him in a carefree, relaxed state of mind, but dies before he can bring Peter out of it. So... Peter just stops caring about anything. He decides to stop going to work, and stop paying bills. He also finally finds the courage, after Anne breaks up with him, to ask out a waitress he's been crushing on named Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), who also hates her job. In a majorly unlikely turn of events, his completely candid explanation of his job and how little he actually works at it inspires a pair of efficiency consultants to recommend him for a promotion. So he keeps going to work after all. But when he finds out his coworkers Michael and Samir are being fired, he convinces them to enact a penny-shaving scheme Michael had been thinking about for some time, to steal money from Initech.

I guess that's all I want to reveal of the plot. But it was definitely an interesting movie, even if I found it somewhat less funny than many fans seem to.


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