Friday, July 9, 2010

Office Space

Office Space screens tonight, Friday July 9th at 9pm, at the Toronto Underground Cinema as part of the Seven Deadly Sins Film Festival.

"So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."
- Peter Gibbons

It is funny the difference a decade makes. I remember working in a movie theater when Office Space was first released in 1999 and watched as it played to consistently empty theaters on a nightly basis. I saw it and loved it, but it was what we liked to call a "two week wonder." That means a film plays for two weeks and then is dropped because it was played for its contractually obligated minimum amount of time.

A lot of fans of this movie really complained that Fox botched the marketing and release of this film. I can agree that the release date probably accounted for the film's failure at the box office (Mid-February is not the time of year for a comedy like this. Late summer is more like it), but as for the marketing campaign, I really don't see a problem with it. Not to go on a tangent before I get into the real substance of this review, but some cult film fans seem to think they have a real sense of entitlement and that they know exactly how to promote and market anything and everything that comes their way. They are even worse than professional wrestling fans at times. Just because you love a film doesn't mean you know how to sell it. Look at this blog. Then look at me. Then look at the films I am writing about. I'm on a horse.

Personally, I think the trailer shows pretty much everything you can expect from the film and refrains from giving away any of its best bits. Since, I can't post that trailer due to embedding issues, here is what I like to call the "Pineapple Express version."

On a more personal level, Office Space came to me at the perfect point in my life. Or, the most imperfect point in my life depending on how I look back on my past. Office Space really showed me just how silly and stupid my job really was and just how little I mattered in the grand scheme of things. It allowed me to laugh at my own misfortune and not just the misfortune of others. The quote I opened this blog with was really the driving force behind my hatred of my job.

In terms of sloth and apathy, I guess you can't really blame Peter (Ron Livingston) for doing the things he does. He is pretty much under hypnosis the entire movie. His friends are actually proactive and manage to help him out and even encourage his slothful behavior. It isn't necessarily a good thing, and depending on how much you think about it, the ending could be both a good and a bad thing. For some, it is an easy cop-out with no real resolution. For others it could be a validation that living the easy life is truly the way to go.

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