1999. 89 Minutes. Rated R.
“PC load letter? What the @#$! does that mean?”
Damn… it feels good to be a Gangsta! I mean, doesn’t it? Alright, fine, the jig is up. This keyboard warrior by night happens to be a librarian by day… not a Gangsta. YOU AREN’T EITHER THOUGH, SO CHILL! You work in an office? Or you’ve got a boss that you’re sure is the fruits of the devil himself? In light of a new era of entertainment focused on works like The Office, Parks and Recreation, even Horrible Bosses. It’s time to pay homage to the one that started it all.
Office Space is the story of Peter Gibbons. Nay… of every man (and woman) who’s ever just had ENOUGH. Enough of this crap, enough of these people… just enough of this.
Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) works at Initech. He updates coding, and stares at his computer screen. Peter and his work pals Michael (David Herman) Bolton (not that Michael Bolton) and Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu) basically want to kill everyone they work with. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you’ve worked with some of these people before. If you know EXACTLY what I mean, then this is the movie for you.
All the characters have different reasons why they hate their job, and for the most part, they cannot identify with each other in the slightest.You ever just hate your job so hard, that you can’t hear any of your work friends complaints, cause they have nothing to do with your own?
Peter is completely harassed around every corner by all eight of his bosses whenever he so much as leaves a cover sheet off a TPS Report. Michael’s last name is Bolton and well, doesn’t that sound like an utter living hell? Samir, well… no one has ever pronounced his last name right, I understand that grief all too well.
1. Relentless comedy free of smiles
People who laugh at their own material while delivering it are essentially patting themselves on the back for a job well done (*cough* Jimmy Fallon *cough*). We’ve got enough of that crap in our lives as it is, we don’t need to see it when we turn to entertainers we need to make us laugh. You notice I wrote NEED. We NEED to laugh sometimes, it’s quintessential to our survival.
Office Space didn’t even try to make jokes, if you look at it one way. They didn’t get into the shock comedy (not that we don’t all love shock comedy). They based every attempt at making us laugh in reality. This wasn’t Austin Powers, which was made to be spectacular. This was made to be realistic. Honestly… sometimes your job SUCKS. Again… I’ve been there, trust me. These guys are stuck at a dead-end company, doing jobs they wouldn’t wish on their worst enemies. One of them finds a girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) and guess what? She hates her job more than all of them. It’s priceless, really.
The humor comes across so clearly because it’s so easy to sympathize with what’s happening. We’ve all had these kind of jobs, or certainly bosses we wanted to push out on the ice floes.
2. Quotes forever
Are you kidding me? Seriously, this maybe the most quotable comedy next to Monty Python’s Holy Grail, What About Bob, and Grandma’s Boy.
Top 5 (no order)
- It was a “Jump to Conclusions” mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor… and would have different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.
- I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, ‘kay. We, ahh, lost some people this week, and ahh, we sorta need to play catch up…THANKSSS..
- You know, I’ve never really liked paying bills. I don’t think I’m gonna do that, either.
- I wouldn’t say I’ve been *missing* it, Bob.
- Say hello to LUMBERG for me!
3. Frustration you can understand
I’m lucky enough to have a job I enjoy. Life wasn’t always like this. What’s that, you washed dishes at Taco Bell? So did I. I have never worked in a cubicle, though. Something a lot of my friends sadly cannot say for themselves. This movie just nails it. You watch a typical week on the job unfold, and the frustration builds. During that week you want to slaughter the office manager a tad more each day, and by the weekend… well, hey thank goodness it’s Friday.
Office Space fulfills our desires. It takes us to a place we cannot go, lest we lose our jobs. When you’ve just HAD IT, and need to do something to take back your freedom, and you can’t kill the boss, or burn down the office, you can pop in this flick, and watch all the what if’s come to life. A frustration you can understand, followed by a turn of events you wish were your own.
(End of The List)
This movie is tense. It’s funny, but not for any of the characters in it, just for us. You can understand the frustration, though. The “bosses” in this movie are the bane of our characters existences, respectfully. That’s what is so successful about this film. It succeeds in mirroring the way everyone as felt, at one time or another. The jokes are real, the animosity is true to form, and you just wish that operator in corporate accounts payable would drop dead.
The only thing better than revisiting this gem is watching it with someone who’s never seen it before.