Thursday, February 03, 2005

In Good Company

I know this film has been out for a while, but we just got around to seeing it and I thought I’d throw together a quick look at it.

Dennis Quaid plays Dan Foreman, a middle-aged ad executive for a popular sports magazine. When a large company named GlobeCom gobbles the magazine up, suddenly Dan’s new boss is a twenty-something go-getter named Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) promoted from within GlobeCom. Carter’s goal is to increase ad pages, and he suddenly realizes this can be done through cross advertising with other GlobeCom sister companies. Wow, he’s a genius! However, things don’t go the way Carter anticipated and he begins laying people off. Ah, the new corporate America – ya gotta love it!

Carter’s wife leaves him (for some reason that was never really explained) and he ends up lonely and inviting himself over to Dan’s for dinner. Enter, Alex (Scarlett Johansson), Dan’s 18-year-old daughter who is on her way to NYU. Well, as you can imagine, sparks are flyin! Carter and Alex start seeing each other, much to Dan’s chagrin. How will it end? Will Alex and Carter stay together? And what about the magazine? Will there continue to be layoffs? Dan gives the CEO of GlobeCom a piece of his mind, leading to a somewhat surprising switch-a-roo! And I’m done telling you anything else!

OK, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. Topher Grace is a solid, easy-to-like guy. His character is similar in personality to Eric on That 70’s Show, which isn’t a bad thing. He seems to be cold and calculating at first, like most young guns at large companies, but he does have a heart and Grace plays the part well. You feel his pain when his wife leaves him, and he has to fire people when things start going downhill at the magazine. No matter how excited he was to move up at the beginning of the film, you really like him and start to feel sorry for him.

Quaid is excellent, fighting with his emotions of letting his daughter go off to live in the city alone and him not being able to protect her anymore. You can really feel the bond they have. But Johansson was not great. She sounds like she’s auditioning for the next Wes Anderson film, showing no emotion really and sounding like she’s got a bad head cold throughout the entire film. In fact, my wife did a great impression of Johansson all of last week, but not by choice unfortunately. I felt like Scarlett kinda mailed this one in. And there wasn’t nearly enough of Marg Helgenberger (Dan’s wife, Ann) for me! I really like her on CSI, and she was just along for the ride in this film.

I’d have to say 3.8 out of 5 – I guess I expected just a tad more from it.

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