Who needs a childhood when you have stock options?
Cast | DVD | News | Notes | Pictures | My Summary | My Review
|Mr. Coleman||Malcolm McDowell|
|Benjamin Osgood||Benjamin Bryan|
|Janet Brownley||Lolita Davidovich|
|Lacy Brownley||Kali Majors|
|Mr. Ruby||Seymour Cassel|
|Bill Flynn||Ted Danson|
|The Vice President||Paul Hipp|
|Randolph Raisen||Bill Escudier|
|Randy Markowitz||Jacob Rissman|
|Lancelot Markowitz||Jonathan Nail|
|Theodore Everest||Jason Segel|
|Hugo Grimes||Frank Elliot|
|Latimer Twinn||Jason Little|
|Shelly Osgood (Voice)||Mary Steenburgen|
|Coleman Secretary (Voice)||Lilly McDowell|
|Roy the Dog||Roxy|
|Israel D. Carbajal|
Directed by Charlie McDowell
Written by Eli Jorné & Charlie McDowell
Play - animated menu
Audio - Dolby 5.1 Surround & Stereo Mix
Bios of Charlie McDowell, Eli Jorne, Louie Provost, Miguel Bunster, Rachel Silvera & Christopher Gay
Contact - emails & phone numbers for above
From Charlie - I just wanted to let you know that my short film Bye Bye Benjamin was selected by itunes as one of their award winning short films. Click here to watch it.
21-year-old aspiring director Charles McDowell has lined up for his "Bye, Bye, Benjamin" - Malcolm McDowell, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. They also happen to be his stepfather, mother and dad, respectively. The student film is targeted for November production and has to do with a child business prodigy.
Coleman's first scene in the boardroom
Malcolm as a cartoon
Music plays against a black screen. Then we
see office buildings. We can hear Bill Flynn saying, "I never touched her,
can't believe she said that, maybe grazed the side of her bosom. Mr. Osgood
you've got to believe me." We see him in an office sitting there facing a
desk. Then the chair turns around revealing Benjamin Osgood who is only 10. Tell
me how's Bethany doing? probably 8 or 9, just think, you get to stay home and watch her take off
those training wheels. It's the golden years. Bill asks how will I pay for them. With this recommendation you'll be back behind
a desk by Monday morning, forget the training wheels, buy her a Vespa and he hands him an envelope.
He smiles, Benjamin gets up, shakes his hand and says we'll miss you Bill. Bill
holds the letter to his heart.
In a boardroom the president of the company Mr. Coleman says, "You are late Mr. Osgood." Sorry, Mr. Coleman, a little Spring cleaning, that's all. Ben sits at a long table and slides papers across to Mr. Ruby. Coleman says, "All right gentleman can we begin?" Mr. Ruby says he's decided to hold on to Ruby shipping, at least a couple years. A man says that's not a good idea. Benjamin says he's missed 3 payments, the stock has lost 15 points, 2 since last Thursday. He says thank you for your time and leaves. Coleman eggs Benjamin on so he says Ruby has a 17 year old grandson with a malignant brain tumor and medical bills that are to say the least, staggering. Ruby turns around, comes back and signs it over.
Janet calls him on the way out of the meeting, she has the figures he wanted. He says she's a lifesaver. She heard about Bill, must've been tough, you guys go way back, are you going to start interviewing? That's why he gets the big bucks. She doesn't know how he does it. Take care Janet. He leaves, sees a girl playing in her office and gets in the elevator. Then a kid, Eddie, and his dad enter. Eddie wants to push the button. He does, then hits them all. The father apologizes, says sorry Mr. Osgood, you know kids, then leaves. Benjamin goes home, sits on the couch with his dog nearby and watches the stock news - third quarter reports are less than expected, eats alone at a huge table, looks around at pictures on the wall of articles and magazine covers about him - Skyscraper, Corporate Weekly, etc. He sees a picture of his parents and decides to call them, but gets the machine and his mom she says to leave a message and to check Corporate Weekly, Ben is on the cover.
The next day Janet asks if we are interrupting. We he asks? She brought her daughter Lacy to work to introduce her to him. She asks why is Benjamin so little? She says not to ask that and not call him Ben, it's Mr .Osgood. She says Lacy's on summer break and will be spending time with her a few days and hopes that's all right. He says it's not the best place. She gets a cell phone call, leaves and says to babysit. He tries to work, she asks what's he doing. Work. She pulls tissues out of a box and throws them around on the desk, says it's snowing. He says it is. She wants to know why he's so small, but can't ask, so she won't. Want to play Four Square? Not at the moment. Janet comes back and takes Lacy out. Lacy wants to know if he can come to her birthday party on Sunday. He says he's pretty busy, too many pilates classes. Janet laughs and takes her away.
Later Benjamin is interviewing some old guy who rambles on and on nervously about his experience, started 20 years ago with Arthur Wembly, started in the mail room, worked diligently, was promoted to clerk. Benjamin's lost in thought and thinks about the tissues.
Benjamin arrives at Lacy's birthday party. Janet is glad he came, didn't expect him. She kisses him, wipes lipstick off him. Benjamin says he needs dockets from her husband, but he's out of town and she's glad, he always ruins parties. She'll introduce him around and offers him a drink.
A man sits with Ben and talks about a hot new stock, it's Ozar, not to be confused with the erectile dysfunction company. They have a migraine treatment, look it up, can you imagine how it will explode when women with headaches get a hold of it. He gives the stock name. Benjamin is distracted and watches the kids play. He excuses himself and the guy says OK, but I'll need you to come back.
He talks to Lacy and says the dress looks good on her. She says he's weird. Having a good party? No…just kidding. She asks if he wants to jump rope. No…just kidding. He says it looks like fun. She says he's funny. He stands on the rope and she tells him. He tries to jump, but he's not good at it. Everyone looks at him. He's embarrassed, he should go. She says one more time, please. He tries again and falls down. Everyone laughs. He gets up and says he's sorry and leaves. He goes and washes up inside. Janet walks in, says she's sorry and leaves. He comes out, she didn't realize anyone was in there. He thanks her for her hospitality. She can't believe he's leaving, says she'll get his helmet, what about double chocolate cake? He says no. She asks if there is anything she can do to get him to stay. She puts his helmet on him, says Lacy will be so disappointed, they've gotten so close lately. She knows he's busy with work, interviewing for Bill's job. He says it was filled Friday. She gets mad, says she let him into her house, let him come to her daughter's party, let him jump rope with her daughter and you didn't give her a f-king interview. He says nothing personal, she's good at her job. She says not to give her that BS.
At night he calls his mom. He's reluctant to say hi, she asks if that's you, how have you been? We heard about the deal, Jeff and I can't stop bragging about you to the Hendersons, their son Jamie just got rejected by Andover so they are a bit jealous. She asks if everything is all right? He calls her mommy, she says excuse me? He says 'nothing.' She doesn't want to keep him from his work and will tell Jeff you said hello and hangs up.
Later Coleman is in a meeting with the vice president and Benjamin because the company isn't doing well and cuts need to be made. The VP says not quarters, one third. Coleman what we have to do is keep of course the profitable parts of the company, containers and other stuff. He says he made a list of departments they could lose. He knows. Ben laughs at Lacy who's making faces behind them. Coleman asks if something is funny? No. Then perhaps you could enlighten us about the dissemination of profits from Ruby shipping. He says let me organize my thoughts and looks at his papers. They go back to talking, there are other thing and Lacy does it again, makes faces and Benjamin laughs. Coleman turns around, sees nothing. Am I missing something here? I fail to see the humor in this? He growls at him. It won't happen again sir. It better not. The VP wrote up a proposal, he wants to bring up the poison pill option, it could sink us. Coleman laughs.
She does it again and asks Benjamin to do something, he can't say anything so he makes faces. Coleman catches him once more, slams the table and says I'm in no mood for childish pranks, now stop it! Perhaps Mr. Osgood is just a boy, perhaps he'd prefer to be playing jump rope or Tiddlywinks or hide and seek? Perhaps I made a big mistake. Benjamin says perhaps you are right, grabs his stuff and gets up. Coleman says to wait, wait, come on, maybe I'm being a little bit hasty. He walks out, says thank you for your time gentlemen. Coleman yells at him if he walks out he's finished, finished! I'll get someone in a heartbeat, stop that, sit down. don't you turn your back on me!
Benjamin packs up his office, looks around and goes to leave. He says hi to people in the hall and they all ignore him including Ralph. Then Lacy comes around and calls him by name, asks if he wants to play yo-yo. He says maybe later. When? I don't know, I won't be coming back here anymore. Did mommy make you leave? No, no, I just feel like going home, I haven't seen my parents for a while. Can I come over to play someday? I'd like that. Janet calls her. She says bye, bye Benjamin Osgood. He says bye, bye Lacy Brownley. He gets in an elevator and two businessmen are in there looking at him. They look like clones. He throws his box of stuff to them, pushes all the buttons and looks at them with a smirk. The guys don't know what to say.
This was a film I was looking forward to since I first
heard about it. I wondered how Charlie would pull off showing his parents and
step dad on screen. Would there be funny, ironic or tense scenes between them?
Turns out they never appeared together - sneaky! This is also one of those cases
where I have had contact with the director before hand, so what would I do if I
didn't like it? What if the direction was some bad Mtv quick cut style since
after all he's a young guy? Thankfully I had nothing to worry about. The
directing was absolutely solid, in fact it's better than what most older people
are doing. The setups and cuts were all as smooth as can be with even some
tracking shots going around and behind things, which I didn't expect. I think
Lindsay Anderson would be proud at how well everything looked for a first short
time film as that's how Lindsay himself started.
So it was a joy to look at because it was shot the way I like, which unfortunately I refer to as the classic style because most things today are filmed like someone is being chased with a camera and editing is a dirty word.
The story is fun because we are just shown a world where a 10 year old kid is already working as a high power executive in a firm. It's absurd because no one questions it and because he has an important position everyone kisses his ass. They don't even look at him like he's a kid. This leads to the best line in the film when Janet talks about it being hard to fire Bill because "they go way back." Way back!? What could that be, a few months? Great stuff. While it is a comedy, it's played straight to make it more absurd. Like when Ben is in the elevator and the kid pushes all the buttons and his father looks at Benjamin saying "you know how kids are" like Benjamin isn't a kid.
At first it seems like a dream job, until he gets home. He lives alone in a large apartment with no companions except for a dog who seems to ignore him and no access to his family. It looked like Charlie was doing a little Clockwork Orange tribute here. When Benjamin stares at the couch he looks like Alex in the beginning of the film and behind him are naked white female statues in crazy poses like the tables in the Korova. When he has dinner he sits alone at a large table looking around him like it's unfamiliar terrain like Alex at Mr. Alexander's near the end of the film.
I'd never seen Benjamin Bryan before and he was a natural as Benjamin. He pulled off the high-powered role well without being over the top. He didn't have to be aggressive and in your face because everyone else showed his power by kissing his butt. One of the craziest scenes is at the birthday party when the guy is giving him this really detailed stock pitch talking about sexual problems like he's and adult. When he tries to be a kid for the first time while jumping rope he fails for the first time and realizes that's the one thing he doesn't know how to be. The party is the main scene where everything changes. It's bizarre that everyone treats him like and adult except for Lacy. He says something to her only an adult would say "that dress looks good on you." Lacy shows she's a kid by saying that's weird. He then catches on that if he wants to fit in he just has to imitate what she says. Another great scene is at the end when Benjamin goes to say goodbye to the people who the day before feared him, now won't talk to him.
Lolita Davidovich as Janet had a surprising role. She's Benjamin's assistant, but turns out she is pimping out her daughter in hopes of getting a promotion from the vacancy Bill left behind. She's all nice and a big butt kisser until she learns she didn't even get a shot a Bill's job and goes off on Ben cursing him out like a sailor.
Seymour has only one scene as Mr. Ruby whom Benjamin outwits in a nasty way that shows why he is at the job that he is.
Ted Danson, looking very old, appears only in the opening scene as a meek employee that Benjamin is forced to fire. Mary Steenburgeon sneaks in as Benjamin's mother, but we only hear her voice on the phone in one scene as an answering machine message and a quick conversation later. Interestingly when Benjamin longs for his parents the picture of his mom on the wall is not Mary. To complete the family Charlie even snuck his sister Lilly in as the voice of Coleman's assistant. The only problem is that it happens so fast that I missed it. Even watching the film twice I couldn't catch her.
Malcolm plays a role like that of Teddy K. from In Good Company. He's in charge of the company and is Benjamin's boss, the one who took a chance on this experiment. His best scene is with Mr. Ruby when he lets Benjamin handle the dirty work on why he should sell his company. When Benjamin hits him with the facts that he's losing money with it he isn't interested and goes to leave. Malcolm gives this great little look to Benjamin like "go for it" which says volumes and Benjamin gives him the knockout punch. Coleman is playing good cop to Ben's bad cop. Then at the end when things are going bad for the company Benjamin is distracted by Lacy behind Coleman's back and laughs. Coleman gets progressively madder then explodes at him. It's classic Malcolm and he tears into him like he did to Ari in Entourage. Then in an Emperor's New Clothes moment he calls him what he is - a boy, something else no one else dared to do. Even his mother didn't call or want to bother him. When Benjamin goes to leave he switches back to being a nice guy because if he does quit then Coleman is going to get blamed for this failed experiment. When that doesn't work he goes back to yelling in a style Malcolm's has perfected.
In the bios section of the DVD it mentions Eli wrote a full-length version of the film. I wonder if this is just a preview. The story starts near the end, so there is plenty of room for a longer version showing Benjamin's rise. It would be fun to see him start as a regular kid as long as we have the same cast.
A fun little story with a bunch of great Malcolm scenes equals a must see film. I have no complaints except for the obvious feeling of being left wanting a longer story and more humor. But sometimes short stories are better than long ones. I think the film is a calling card for Charlie. If he has a project or a job he wants and the company doesn't know him and asks what can he do - he can just show them this film.
This page ©2005-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net