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From the director of About a Boy.
Cast | Articles | Classic Lines | DVD | Filming Locations | Interviews | Notes | Pictures | Synopsis - Official | My Summary | My Review | Trailer
|Teddy K.||Malcolm McDowell|
|Dan Foreman||Dennis Quaid|
|Carter Duryea||Topher Grace|
|Alex Foreman||Scarlett Johansson|
|Ann Foreman||Marg Helgenberger|
|Mark Steckle||Clark Gregg|
|Enrique Colon||Ty Burrell|
|Eugene Kalb||Philip Baker Hall|
|Jana Foreman||Zena Grey|
|Porsche Dealer||Ron Bottitta|
|Maitre D||Shishir Kurup|
|Theo||Tim Edward Rhoze|
|Young Executive||Chris Ausnit|
|Francesca P. Roberts||Loan Officer|
|Moving Man||Gregory Hinton|
|Moving Man||Todd Lyon|
|Moving Man||Thomas J. Dooley|
|Moving Man||Scott Sahadi|
|Basketball Ringer||Robin Kirksey|
|Maya - Roommate||Kate Ellis|
|Carter's Assistant||Nick Schutt|
|Mike||Dean A. Parker|
|Fired Employee||Richard Hotson|
|Fired Employee||Shar Washington|
|Teddy K's Assistant||Rebecca Hedrick|
|Globecom Technician||Miguel Arteta|
|Kid at Party||Sam Tippe|
|Legally Dedd||Andre Cablayan|
|Legally Dedd||Dante Powell|
|Hector's Date||Michalina Almindo|
|Bar Patron||Claudia Barroso|
|Kalb's Assistant||Loretta Shenosky|
|Man on Street||Trevor Stynes|
|Basketball Player||Jaclynn Tiffany Brown|
Directed and written by Paul Weitz
Dennis Quaid thrilled the cast and crew on the set when he pulled down his boxer shorts and mooned at them during a scene. The fun-loving actor was romping around in his underwear for the candid scene and decided to bare all for the astonished bystanders, including new movie wife Marg Helgenberg. She recalls, "That was a fun afternoon. We shot take after take of Dennis pulling down his boxers." Quaid's on-screen daughter in the film, Scarlett Johansson, wasn't so thrilled. She adds, "I was completely mortified and grossed out...but I've got to find his personal trainer."
In Good Company
Todd McCarthy | Variety 12/10/04
Trying to tap a vein of blended romantic pathos and barbed
business-world satire that calls to mind Billy Wilder's 1960 classic "The
Apartment," with an unmistakable dash of "The Graduate," Weitz,
while unable to match those models, nevertheless exhibits skills that remain
closer to the deft mixed moods of "About a Boy" than to the raucous
crudeness of "American Pie," both co-directed with his brother Chris,
here on board only as a producer.
Immediately establishing a dynamic shrewdly designed to interest two generations, yarn intros Dan Foreman (Quaid) who, after 20 successful years with Gotham-based Sports America, is replaced as head of ad sales when the popular magazine is acquired by giant Globecom.
Supplanting him at the top is 26-year-old Carter Duryea (Grace), whose boyish good looks and self-described "ninja assassin" competitiveness supposedly make up for his complete lack of experience in sales. Considered a dinosaur by the half-his-age hotshot, Dan is tentatively kept on, although many of the less productive old guard are about to be shown the door.
Pic is at its best in this early section, effectively catching the anxiety behind the eager-to-please faces of the long-timers, the corporatespeak about "synergy" and getting "psyched" that Carter uses to try to excite his uniformly older underlings, and the rumors about what's in store and who's going to get canned.
Best of all is Dan's scarcely disguised disdain for his new boss and the entire culture he represents. Quaid's jock persona serves him well here as a sports-rag lifer who, while swallowing the bitter pill of demotion, just can't bring himself to take much crap from the green little whippersnapper regardless of the fact that, with a wife and two teenage girls to support, Dan can scarcely afford to be jobless.
Dan's home life is also presented in witty terms initially. When he finds a used pregnancy-test package in the bathroom, you can feel his indignant fury rise over the assumption the user was his daughter Alex (Johansson), whom you can also tell he presumes is still a virgin. The joke is on Dan, as the expectant female turns out to be his wife Ann (Marg Helgenberger), once again a mother-to-be in her 40s.
Although he's got a man's job, Carter is far from being a man on any other front. He can't hold onto his immature wife of seven months (Selma Blair), who retreats home to mom and dad; he wrecks his new Porsche the moment he drives it off the dealer's lot, and in a panic of loneliness imposes himself on Dan for a family dinner, where he finds in Alex the only outlet for his feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.
This covert Benjamin-and-Elaine romance has an initial sweetness marred only by the somewhat unseemly directness with which Alex comes on to Carter once she gets her own dorm room at NYU. But little by little, the story's schematic frame comes to dominate over its fresh human moments, as Dan discovers what his boss is doing to his beloved daughter, exacts immediate physical revenge and eventually sets his sights on turning the tables at work.
Even more damaging to the film are office-related incidents that feel dramatically forced and far-fetched. Much of the difficulty stems from a sudden visit paid to Sports America by the imperious head of Globecom (an unbilled, revved up Malcolm McDowell), whose glib, jargon-larded spiel is interrupted by uncharacteristically sincere and noble remarks from Dan. The corporate hatchet man out for Dan's scalp is grossly caricatured, and Carter's ultimate dawning of self-awareness is too pat and tidy for a movie that begins with a reasonable expression of life's messiness.
Still, there are saving graces, beginning with Quaid's performance as a competent, decent, thoroughly exasperated old-schooler who's always tried to do the right thing at home and at work; as Alex puts it, "I'm cursed with a functional family." Grace underacts effectively in the corporate scenes and those with Quaid, but plays it too close to the vest for the viewer to feel entirely comfortable with his behavior vis-a-vis Alex. Johansson's offhand appeal comes through as a girl anxious to shed her father-encouraged tennis player image.
Proceedings are generally enhanced by the graceful stability of Weitz's directorial style, which is supported by solid tech work. Reviewed at the Beverly Center, Los Angeles, Nov. 18, 2004.
Maybe not too classic, but all of Malcolm's dialog about 1:20 minutes in.
"Hello. How are you? Hi, how are you doing? Good to see you. Hi. Oh, nice broach. We must be paying you too much money. Ha! Ha! Hi. Ahhhh...Mark Steckle how are you? How are you doing? Nice to see you. Oh, yes. Cell phones. That's the flagship. What happened to your eye? Those things can be dangerous. Keep up the good work."
"Synergy. What does it mean? Why does a business swim with it, sinks without it, in this new ocean of megabytes, streaming video, etc.? Every day the world becomes more complex and to survive in a complex world we need complex thoughts to interface with. In this room I see (holds hands apart) what we're trying to get to is this (grasps hands together). This is unbreakable, this is the end. Globecom. Is it a company or are we building a country with no national boundaries? A new democracy, a new democracy...yes. 24 hour music videos in Kuala Lumpur. Computers with parts manufactured in Japan or even Idaho, India. A soft drink ad going out simultaneously to seven different continents. The Dalai Lama eating his Krispity Crunch while uploading prayers onto the net. Women's World magazine. Well, why not Women's World channel? Across the world - computers. Why not a computer section in Sports America Magazine? Yes? Dan Foreman, Sports America. You ask some excellent questions, excellent, excellent questions,. I'm glad you asked them and I'm leaving it to you, all of you, to answer them."
Widescreen of Full Screen
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Commentary with Topher Grace and the Director Paul Weitz
Los Angeles, CA - skyscraper in downtown area.
New York City, NY - 5/15/04 near Washington Square Park.
Bleecker Street, NYC - 5/17/04
New York University's Coles Sports Center in NYC - 5/18/04. They shot one scene in which Scarlett plays tennis on the courts on the roof since she is an NYU student in the film.
New York University's Coles Sports Center in NYC - 5/19/04. Dennis played basketball on the arena floor.
NYU Dorm on the corner of Washington Place and Washington Park - 5/20/04
MacDougal St. restaurant - 5/20/04
Downtown Manhattan - 5/20-1/04
Madison Ave, NYC - 5/22/04
Chinatown on Canal and around Mott Street - 5/22/04
51st and Lexington, NYC - 5/22/04
Hayden Hall on Washington Square West, NYC - 5/26/04
Phillip McCarthy | Sydney Morning Herald 4/22/05
The setting does provide some delicious industry portraits. The patriarch of the predatory conglomerate, Globecom, is a quixotic autocrat played by Malcolm McDowell, who inspires mindless devotion from his key executives. McDowell couldn't be a Rupert Murdoch-style visionary, could he? Writer-director Paul Weitz (About a Boy) says he had no one specific in mind.
"It's really a father-son story about Dennis and me," Grace says. "The relationship ebbs and flows during the course of the movie. Obviously, without giving too much away, neither of us is in the same place at the end as when we started out."
Grace is best known from his long-running television gig on That '70s Show. Previously his biggest roles were in frothy comedies such as Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! He also had small roles in movies such as Traffic and Mona Lisa Smile, and cameos as himself in Ocean's Eleven and Twelve.
Weitz didn't know much about Grace before he auditioned, but he jokes that, with a first name like Topher, he sounded like "some sort of Hollywood slickster". Incidentally, the name is a childhood abbreviation of Christopher that Grace wasn't quick enough to ditch.
"The thing about Topher is that he was good at the jokes and all that, but he was also able to project an icy quality. A lot of the guys we auditioned kind of wanted the audience to like them from the start. But the audience had to believe, also, that this was someone who would fire someone if he was told to do it. There's a bit of a lost-kid quality about the character, but he happens to be in a position to inflict a lot of misery on everyone else."
The name Globecom sounds like WorldCom, the giant American communications company that went bust two years ago in a bankruptcy bigger than Enron's. Paul Weitz, one half of the Weitz brothers movie-making duo along with brother Chris, saw the human side of what happens in a corporate takeover frenzy. The usual sunny catchphrases such as "adding shareholder value" don't tell the whole story.
"I had a lot of friends over the past few years who found themselves losing their jobs and suddenly feeling very vulnerable, at a time in their lives when they expected to be at their most secure," he says. "The problem is that it is always tempting to fire the guy who has been there 25 years and replace him with one who has been there two years because the second guy probably earns less. But the second guy might not know as much."
In Good Company seems to mark the beginning of the end of the Weitz brothers as equal collaborators. In past films such as About a Boy and American Pie, the two jointly directed the movie. This time, they only share producing credit. Paul is sole writer and director, and Chris is scheduled to direct his own solo effort later this year.
"We are sort of going our own ways but helping each other along the way. Chris wasn't interested in doing this film. After About a Boy, he wanted to do something on a more epic scale and I wanted to do something very similar to it. So we faced the situation that one of us would tell the other, 'You can't do this.' So we thought this was the best way to go. We'll see how it goes.
Malcolm has a small role only in the LA scenes filmed in May, 2004. It is an uncredited cameo, but a pivotal scene in what turned out to be his 100th film!
Originally called Synergy which is defined as "a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (as resources or efforts)". Title was changed only a couple months before release.
Project announced 10/03.
Marg Helgenberger joined the cast 2/20/04.
Selma Blair, Clark Gregg, Philip Baker Hall and David Paymer joined the cast 2/11/04.
Topher Grace has a cameo as himself in "Ocean's Twelve," bemoaning his emotional state to poker mentor Rusty Ryan. "I quit that TV show!" he says, pacing around a disheveled living room. "And I phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie!"
Carter was originally called Tom.
Official Site www.ingoodcompanymovie.com
MM is not in the trailer.
Won NBR Award Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor Topher Grace
Los Angeles gala premiere was 12/6/04 and MM attended.
Premiered 12/29/04 in NY and LA.
Made $151,750 opening weekend on 3 screens
Opened wide 1/14/05.
Fourth place opening weekend with $16,638,635 - 1,566 locations, $10,625 average, $17,138,097, three weeks.
Opened in Australia 1/20/05.
Rated PG-13 for some crude language, fleeting rear nudity and a permissive view of premarital sex. 110 mins.
Teddy K. at the podium
Behind the Scenes
Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) is headed for a shakeup. He is demoted from head of ad sales for a major magazine when the company he works for is acquired in a corporate takeover. His new boss, Carter (Topher Grace) is half his age--a business school prodigy who preaches corporate synergy. While Dan develops clients through handshake deals and relationships, Carter cross-promotes the magazine with the cell phone division and "Krispity Krunch," an indeterminate snack food under the same corporate umbrella. Both men are going through turmoil at home. Dan has two daughters - Alex, age 18, and Jana, age 16 - and is shocked when his wife tells him she's pregnant with a new child. Between college tuition, the mortgage and a new baby, Dan can't afford to lose his job in the wave of corporate layoffs. Carter, in the meantime, is dumped by his wife of seven months just as he gets his promotion. Dan and Carter's uneasy friendship is thrown into jeopardy when Carter falls for, and begins an affair with, Dan's daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson). Weitz's examination of life's surprises, ironies and coincidences combine to form 'Synergy.'
Dan Foreman, a 51 year old husband, gets
ready for work. He turns on the TV and hears that Globecom has bought the
magazine where he works - Sports America. He then finds a home pregnancy kit box
in the trash and is freaked out that his 18 year old daughter is pregnant, but
has no time to investigate as he has a flight to catch.
He takes a flies from New York to Los Angeles to meet with Eugene Kalb, the owner of Kalb Automotive, a potential big client. Eugene isn't completely sold on the idea of advertising in his magazine. Dan doesn't want to pressure him because he believes in the product. Eugene can't beleive there is no high pressure salesmanship and says his son in law thinks he's a dinosaur, but Dan says dinosaurs ruled the earth for millions of years, so they did something right. Dan leaves by saying he'll send him a free magazine every week until he changes his mind. He tells them there is a great article comparing new quarterbacks to Johnny Unitas. Eugene says no one was betting than Unitas.
Meanwhile 26 year old corporate whiz kid Carter Duryea is showing his new product idea in a board meeting. He wants to market cellphones to kids under 5 years old to capture the non existent market. He has designed them in dinosaur shapes like a T-Rex and pterodactyl and they have their own monster sounding rings. His boss Mark Steckle is impressed. He then announces that their CEO Teddy K. has bought out Sports America magazine and he is leaving to work there. Out in the hall Carter chases him down to beg him to take him with him. Steckle is taking him, in fact grooming him to move up the ladder, Teddy K. even knows about him. Carter is totally psyched he is moving up so fast and tells him he will be Mark's assassin. Mark says he is the new him.
Dan comes home from the trip at 3AM. He goes into to check on his daughter Alex who is still awake because she can't sleep. He thinks she is up since is pregnant and asks her if there is anything she wants to tell him, but she says there isn't. He says they always promised to tell each other things. She says it's nothing and that she'll see him for tennis tomorrow. He goes to bed and asks his wife Ann if Alex has a boyfriend and she says no. She then tells him that she is pregnant. He can't believe it since she had entered menopause, but it is true. He is flabbergasted and hopes that it is a boy, but is happy. He then realizes that when the kid is 21, he'll be 73.
At home Carter is in bed with his wife and is so excited. He says this promotion means more money, a bigger house a family. He can't sleep, but his wife doesn't seem to care. She asks if he has experience. He says selling cellphones or ad space is the same crap. She begs him to turn out the light and go to bed.
At Sports America the next day everyone talks about the rumors going around. No one knows if they are fired or not, but they learn Carter is coming in to take over Dan's job and office. Enrique Colon tells Dan to accept it since he is too old to start over. Carter comes into the office building and spots an attractive girl going in the elevator and jumps in. She is Dan's daughter Alex and since she going to the 47th floor, same as him he asks if she is an intern. She tells him she is going to see her dad who works there. He says he's starting a new job today, has no idea what he is doing and is scared shitless, but not to tell anyone. When Carter gets out Dan crashes into him, but they don't know each other yet. Alex surprises Dan since he forgot about playing tennis. They leave and go play a few matches and she easily wins. Afterwards she tells him she was accepted to NYU and he is happy. She says she wants to be a writer and he is upset because he wants to her be a tennis pro, but that isn't what she wants. She knows it is more expensive than Suny and she wants to live in the city too. He doesn't like either option, but wants her to have the best education.
Back at work Carter meets his staff. Morty kisses his butt and the others make fun of him. Carter is shown to Dan's office which is still full of Dan's stuff and is amazed by the view. Dan comes back from tennis and is surprised to find him there, that he is his new boss and is half his age. Dan also learns Carter has no experience in sales. Carter is surprised to learn Dan is older than his dad.
Later Carter decides to reward himself with a new car. He goes to a fancy dealership and the dealer pushes a Porsche 911 on him and he buys a blue one. Carter feels so great that he isn't paying attention and the second he pulls out of the dealership he crashes into a truck damaging the front left light, deploying the air bag and hurting his arm. He returns home with his car messed up and his arm in a sling to find his wife Kim waiting for him. She isn't concerned with his condition. In fact her bags are packed again and she's moving back to her parents house. After seven months of marriage she is finished. He wants to have kids with her, but she told him on their second date she didn't want kids with him or kids at all. He thought she was kidding and then learns she had an affair too.
Meanwhile Dan and Ann are at the doctor's office getting a sonogram. Suddenly Dan is overwhelmed and wants his heart checked out. It is beating fast and the doctor asks if he is under any stress and says he was demoted and his wife is surprised. He says they'll talk later.
At the office on Monday is Carter's first meeting with his staff. He is drinking coffee like crazy and is a total mess. He doesn't even know what to say and is losing the audience. He admits he has to increase ad space by 20%. Dan says it isn't possible and Morty wants to know how. Carter says synergy. Globecom owns Krispity Krunch cereal. They can call up the company and get sports factoids on their boxes and sell them ad space. They can also do the same on cellphones and more branches the company owns. He says it is limitless and asks if they are psyched? He finally gets them all to yell that they are psyched. The staff thinks Dan will be the first to go.
Carter takes Dan out to lunch at a sushi bar and forces him to have some tuna. Dan reluctantly eats it and wants to spit it out. Carter tells him he has to cut $300 thousand of salary right away. Dan is pissed because he doesn't make that much and is fired after eating the fish. He gets up to leave, but Carter calls him back saying he isn't fired. He wants Dan as his wingman because he knows what he is doing. Dan asks what could possibly be the benefit of being a wingman. Carter says he gets to keep his job.
The next day Carter fires Enrique and everyone is glad. He then gives Dan a 360 report in which Dan has to evaluate himself because it is corporate policy. That night Carter works out on his treadmill indoors with a screen behind him showing outdoor scenes. He calls his wife and only gets her voice mail. He calls a friend not knowing he moved out long ago. He even tries to get his fish to come to him and can't. He then calls Dan to meet with the team at work the next day. Dan can't believe it since tomorrow is Sunday. Carter says it'll be a great jump on the week.
Steckle comes in to work and can't believe Carter is there, he should be out having fun. He wants Mark to meet Dan, but he doesn't care. Carter tries to talk about his wife, but he really doesn't care. After the meeting Carter asks everyone if they want to go out and get a drink or something, but everyone blows him off. Dan says he has to go home and eat with his family if he wants to join him. Carter excitedly says yes and latches on. He drives him home and Ann is surprised to see him there and that he is so young. Carter loves the atmosphere and idea of having home cooked baked ziti. Ann wonders what is wrong him. Dan wants to eat fast to get rid of him. Ann says NYU is so expensive that they might have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.
In the living room Carter looks at pictures of Alex when she walks in. They remember each other from the elevator and Jana walks in and says he can't be dad's new boss because he is too young and too good looking. The phone rings and then she runs off to get it. Alex asks what is he really doing there. He says it is the anniversary of his first date, his wife left him and he can't bear to be alone so he invited himself over. She can't believe he is so bizarrely honest. He says it is only around her, usually he is an anal retentive ass. She asks him to go into the garage to play foosball and he agrees.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Ann is freaking out because the morning sickness is making her crazy. She didn't have any with the first two kids and shouldn't have it now. Dan tries to calm her, but she has to throw up in the sink and quickly hands him the baked ziti tray which is too hot to hold and he drops it. The dish breaks and splatters all over him. He goes upstairs to change.
In the garage Alex and Carter are bonding. She says everyone thinks she is a jock and doesn't invite her anywhere. They also think she is a lesbian. He is upset until she learns she isn't. She isn't ready to turn into a tennis pro and doesn't like the competition, maybe her life has peeked. He says he wonders if his life has peeked at 26.
Dan has two pizzas delivered and then tells Jana to come down, but she is on the phone with her boyfriend. He didn't know she even had one and gets on the phone and tells him if he gives her beer or weed he'll hunt him down and neuter him. They sit down to eat and Jana can't believe Carter is really her dad's boss. She also asks if he is married because of the ring and he says sort of. He then goes to pass something and spills Dan's drink on his pants and tries to clean it off. Dan has to go upstairs and change again. Carter then leaves and Alex watches him go.
The next day Dan helps Alex pack and unload everything into her new dorm room while Carter checks out where she is. Dan gives her pepper spray and says he installed cameras in the dorm to watch her. He cries and she's ready to move on.
Later Dan signs the papers for a second mortgage to pay for it. Carter signs the papers for his divorce.
At work Carter says he is in charge of the new corporate sales basketball team that will play against Steckle's VP team. He also says Dan can't take his clients to the Knicks game. Carter says they have a luxury box and will take them to a concert on Thursday instead. Dan says that isn't a good idea.
The concert is a by rap group Legally Dedd, the singer was shot 12 times, but survived. Carter tries to schmooze the sneaker arm of the company to help sell ad space to the rum salesman. The guy isn't interested and Dan takes him outside. He explains Continental Brands has bought out his company and they also own a competing cellphone company and they aren't allowed to advertise with him anymore. Carter then tells Dan that Louis and Morty must be let go. Dan asks what it means since they don't want to go. He says it's nicer than saying they are fired. The loss of this account can't justify their salaries. Morty also called a woman sugartits and is in trouble because of it. Dan says he's been there 23 years and hired and worked with these guys for eight years. Dan says he should be fired too. Carter says he could do that, but would he really want to jeopardize his family.
The next day Dan comes in to find Carter sleeping on the couch in his office and can't believe he is living there. Dan decided he should be the one to fire Louis and Morty. He goes in and does it. Louis is surprised, but when Louis learns Dan isn't being fired either he flips out on him that he has turned corporate on him. Morty is more sympathetic, but can't believe his wife will now dominate him even more. Dan is down in the dumps and gives Carter his 360 evaluation saying he doesn't meet expectations.
Morty packs up his stuff and leaves. The rest of the staff can't believe it and are sorry. Meanwhile Carter goes out and looks for Alex and finds her at a coffee bar and acts surprised to see her. She says she is going to NYU now. He says he got an apartment in Tribeca. He sits down for coffee and keeps tossing them back. She finds out he is divorced and confesses she has had trouble meeting new people, but loves creative writing. He is intrigued and tells her not to take a double a major, to focus on the writing. She says it is weird that he bummed about his career. He says it is all he has. He confesses his mom is a hippy and doesn't really care and his dad left home when he was four. He wants to take a walk now that he told his life story. She agrees, but says there isn't much to talk about.
They wind up walking and talking a lot regardless. She eventually kisses him full on the mouth and invites him up to her dorm room. He is shocked at all this, but agrees. She tells him her roommate is out for the night and covers the lamp, puts on music and lights incense to seduce him. On the wall her roommate has a Globecom banner with the word 'sucks' written on it. He says he wishes she wasn't so beautiful so could stop, but can't. He admits everything is perfect and she pulls him down to her. She then laughs about what her dad said about the hidden cameras. He nervously looks around.
The next day at work Dan learns they are moving their offices down 20 floors. Carter comes in all high and energetic and Dan is suspicious. Carter blows it off. Dan then tries to contact Alex day after day, but she doesn't answer.
Carter continues to see Alex and they play tennis together and he loses bad. Dan continues to call and Carter continues to see her.
The firings continue as Carter lets more and more staff go.
Then comes the day of the big basketball game. Dan wears an expensive knee brace and notices a huge black moving man is now playing on the VP team. So much for fair. Mark doesn't even know or care who Dan is when Carter tries to introduce him. The big black center gets the ball, dunks and dominates. Things are going very bad for the sales team. Eventually they start to turn it around when Carter and Dan work together. Dan then steals the ball, goes all the way to dunk it, but the ball gets caught between the rim and the backboard and he falls down hurt. Game over.
The next day Dan stills gets no answer from Alex. Carter is in his office staring at a big picture of Alex on his computer when Dan comes in asking her name. He flips out and then learns Dan was asking about the fish behind him. He says it is a he and his name is Buddy. He had a friend and he ate him. Dan wants to talk and know if he called his parents back when he was 18. He admits they never called, but he would've. Dan wants to go kidnap Alex since she isn't calling him. Carter says that is a bad idea and that from the brief time he's been with her she is a smart, savvy young woman. He changes the subject and asks how Dan got such a perfect life. He says he picked the right woman to be in the foxhole with.
The next day it is Dan's 52nd birthday and Ann and all his friends are throwing him a surprise party. Dan doesn't want a party with all that has been going on lately. He drives Jana home and is suspicious about her asking him if he wants a party and sees movement inside. He tells her he is going to check the mail and will be right in. Dan comes in only wearing boxer shorts and then moons the waiting crowd while Ann video tapes him. His daughters are shocked.
Carter runs into Morty who is still bummed out. He then sneaks off into his car with Alex to give her a present. It is an expensive diamond necklace. She is shocked because it isn't her birthday and it's way too expensive for her. He doesn't want her to feel weird, it just felt right to get it. He tells her it's good to be in a foxhole with her, but she doesn't understand.
Meanwhile inside Dan is opening his gifts by the window and is horrified to see Alex and Carter walking toward the house together with Alex touching him suggestively.
The next day Carter takes a cab to a fancy restaurant and meets Alex there for lunch while Dan follows him in another cab. Carter gets there a little late and Alex isn't mad. He soon notices she is wearing his necklace and says she looks beautiful even though she doesn't think so. The waiter gives them the food choices and they are all weird, and all contain alocoui oil. Carter jokes about it when once choice doesn't. Dan sees them together from outside, enters and pushes his way back to their table and and asks Alex if she is sleeping with him. She doesn't answer and Carter says it isn't what it looks like. Dan asks what it looks like. Carter admits it probably looks sleazy and Alex doesn't know what to say. Dan tells Carter to get up and he does. Dan then slugs him in the eye and he goes down. Carter says he loves her and tells her for the first time. Dan freaks since she is his daughter, three years ago she was in braces, she is in college and he had to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. He then leaves and Alex follows.
She is sorry. He can't believe she slept with his boss and that she lied about it. They promised each other no secrets. She said that was when she was five and he says he liked her better then. She says that is not fair and wants to talk, but he has nothing to say and leaves.
Carter meets Alex back at her apartment. Her gothic roommate is there and Alex asks her to leave. Alex goes to get ice for his eye, but only has a cold can of soda to offer him. He apologizes for saying he loved her like that, but he really does. She says it is sweet that he thinks his does. She's taking new classes, is very busy and isn't ready for this kind of commitment. He says he isn't talking about marriage yet. She says he is on the rebound, he was married not long ago and thinks they should stop seeing each other. He says divorce is the best thing that happened to him, but can't convince her. He says he enjoyed talking to her more than anyone in his life. She feels the same way.
Dan returns home very late and Jana is freaking out. She'd been trying to reach him all day. Ann is in the hospital, but everything is OK. She had a scare. In the lobby he meets with Alex. She tells him she broke up with Carter, not because of Dan, but because of her. She is sorry she lied and he didn't seduce her, it was the other way around. He doesn't want to hear the details though. Alex thinks he must think she is disgusting. He can't believe her. She is freaked about the second mortgage, she didn't know and doesn't have to go to the expensive school. He says it is OK, he understands and will do his best to adjust and change. She says he doesn't have to.
The next day at work everyone's computers get an alert that Teddy K. is coming. Soon after he is there meeting the staff. He talks to Mark and then Carter asking how his eye got that way. He tells him he was working late and fell asleep at the computer and his head hit the monitor. He laughs and then goes up to a lighted podium to speak. The rest of the room is darkened. There is a big logo behind him of two clasping hands. This is what he wants, this is what synergy is. He wants to Globecom to expand, not to just be a company, but a country. He wants every brand to be and computers everywhere. He even wants a computer section in Sports America. At this Dan interrupts. He can't understand why he would want that or who would want to read it. He doesn't understand all this talk of being a country when countries are democracies who don't just fire people for the bottom line. Teddy K. is silent for a minute and then says those are excellent questions and says it is up to all of them to answer them and leaves.
Carter runs to Dan's office freaking out. Then Mark comes in and yells at him for disrespecting Teddy K. Dan explains Teddy said it was an excellent question. Mark says this isn't a joke and he wants him out of there right away, he is finished. Carter tells him that if he fires Dan he has to fire him too. Mark is flabbergasted that he would throw away his future to saddle up with an over the hill loser. He says then he is fired too. Carter says it's too bad because they were working on a huge account that would put them into the red. Mark says they are bluffing. Dan says he never bluffs. Mark doesn't care, they are still gone. Carter says Teddy K. will care. He'll tell him Mark single handedly drove his flagship right into the ground by losing this account and will remember his name because he likes what he did with cellphones. Mark relents and tells them they have 24 hours to produce and leaves. Carter asks Dan if he has any ideas. Dan says only one.
They fly out to see Eugene Kalb. Carter tries to sweet talk him and Eugene isn't interested and Dan takes over saying he has taught him some things. Eugene asks about Carter's black eye and Dan says that is one of the things he taught him. Eugene has to know why. Dan says he called him a dinosaur who was out of date, so he slugged him. Eugene is impressed. Carter tries to talk cross promotion with Krispity Krunch, but Dan stops him. Dan wants to know bottom line why he won't advertise with them. He says he is over budget on ad expenses. His stupid son-in-law is in charge of advertising, spread all the money out on radio and internet ads, but now he's going to take over and make a major buy in the magazine.
They both leave excited. Carter can't believe it. He said it was so exciting and fun and how did he do it? Dan says Eugene needed to see an old guy sock a young punk. Carter is also surprised that Dan believes in his job and what he is doing. Dan says why else would he do it?
They return to the office to tell everyone only to find out that Teddy K. has sold the company right out from under them and Mark and Carter are fired. Dan is getting his old job back. Just like that. Carter packs up and leaves.
A month later Dan calls Carter back in to his office and everything is back to the way it was. Dan wants to know how he's been. He says good, but weird not going to work every day. Dan wants to offer him a job because he thinks he is a good manager and a good salesman. He wants him to be his second in command. Carter is blown away. He says it means more to him than he knows and he would be the best one to learn from, but he doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He wants it to mean something to him, like Dan's life means to him. He wants to know if he is being stupid. Dan says no. Carter asks how the family is. He says everything is good and the baby is coming next Tuesday. Carter says it is amazing and wants him to give the family his best and thanks him. Dan asks for what. Carter says no one ever took the time to really teach him things that were worth learning. Dan tells him he's going to be OK. Carter is glad to hear it. Dan tells him he's a good man and not to be a stranger.
On the way out he's surprised to see Morty there in the lobby coming back to work. Morty says Carter looks like a delivery man. Alex comes up to surprise her dad and Morty introduces them. They pretend like they don't know each other at first. She asks how Carter is. He says he is good, thinking about leaving town and being a teacher or an alocoui salesman. She says writing is going good and he is glad. Morty tries to interrupt that he got a raise and his wife got fired, timing is everything. They both agree it was good to see each other.
Next week at the hospital Dan comes out to the lobby and tells his daughters the baby is a girl. Alex asks if he is happy and he says he is psyched. Carter is jogging on the beach when Dan calls him with the news. He has to convince him he is really jogging outside and not to laugh.
It's is really sad when I arrive to the
movie 15 minutes after it started and didn't miss anything. All the ads and
trailers weren't even finished. Someday there won't even be a movie, just hours
of ads. Is the movie just filler for the ads now? I was also surprised that the
theater was almost half full with people of all ages. Usually when I go to
bargain matinees there are no more than four to six people in the entire
I was fully prepared to be bored to death going into this film since I knew MM only had one scene. Also I had seen Topher in passing from That 70's Show - a show which I despise. The whole phony premise is just awful and there is nothing good about it. Plus Topher has a face that annoys me. That said I was pleasantly surprised with the film. While at first it seemed like it was going to be predictable, they flipped it all around. They make it seem like the old guy is on his way out and the young guy is on his way up, but it is really the opposite.
Another thing that bothered me was with Scarlet's hair was pulled back so often that it made her lips stand out even worse than usual. Those things are huge! They hog the screen every time they are on. They should get their own acting credit.
The film is just a decent little light comedy. You could take the family to it, but there isn't really anything for kids to be interested in. The young stars appeal to the teenage crowd and the older actors appeal to the older crowd. It's a smart ploy to cover a vast audience.
The main problem I have with movies like these are the way the love story is handled. Alex seduces Carter for no particular reason and then can't deal with it when he says he loves her!? What does she expect would happen? If you have sex with someone on your first date you couldn't possibly give anything but the wrong idea if you don't really want to be with someone. The whole thought process is totally reversed. I really hate it when things start to get moving in a relationship and then instead of cutting back the time they spend together or slowing down it just ends abruptly. They admit they bonded with each other in a way neither have ever done before, but decide it is over because she doesn't want to commit, even though she is sleeping with him. That's not love, that's not reality. People who enjoy being around each other don't just break it off. In the end she doesn't even really give a reason except that she isn't ready for a commitment. Well, you should have thought of that before spreading your legs on the first date, that wasn't even really a date. Don't lead someone on. Just say it up front. I know it is not real, but it is supposed to be based in reality. There is no attempt to work it out or anything. There is no happy ending for them as they still go their separate ways in the end.
The scene at the end with Morty was just a mess because there was no reason for him to not know that Carter and Alex knew each other. He would've known about Carter going over for dinner and he saw them together at Dan's birthday party. It was just a weak attempt at humor and to close the door on their relationship.
Marg wasn't given much to do nor were any of the supporting cast. The film is really about the three characters of Carter, Dan and Alex.
The bad news is that Malcolm's one scene occurs in the last part of the movie. The good news is he is talked about throughout the film and his picture is used on the news within seconds of the film starting. His scene has two parts. The first is a quick meet and greet of the staff. The second is his big speech. The speech is typical corporate BS and MM does it well. He could definitely play Richard Branson or Rupert Murdoch in a biopic. He looks so cool in the dark with his white podium providing the only illumination to his face. He is cheery and upbeat throughout. When Dan hits him with questions we expect him to blow up, but he just blows it off and leaves. Instead of anger, it is just funny. Of course, I would've loved to have another six scenes with MM, but it is great to see him in a big budget major release film like this.
Overall if you want to see the film just to see MM, then wait for the DVD. The film is different than most in that it has no sex or real violence. It is all pretty light hearted, though it is supposed to be tackling important issues in life. It isn't laugh out loud funny or extremely touching, it's just a very basic comedy. You won't have a great time, but you won't be bored because overall it is well done. Scarlet is pretty lame, but Topher and Dennis hold their own. The direction is solid and above par, just a little long at 110 minutes. They could've gotten to the end sooner and just put text on the screen for what happens to the characters. No reason was given why the title was changed. I much prefer 'Synergy'. It's a bit mysterious and it is the whole point of Teddy K's company and big speech. By changing it it makes the speech less powerful. 'In Good Company' is such a lame, nothing title. What does it mean? Just a dopey double entendre about the company of people and the company you work? Such a crappy sell out. Plus there was no tagline for the film! They couldn't even think of one!? The worst part is that the Peter Gabriel song becomes a major earworm and you can't get it out of you head for days...
MM does not appear in the trailer.
The music is Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
I was feeling part of the scenery
I'd walk right out of the machinery
My heart going boom-boom-boom
Hey, he said, grab your things I've come to take you home
© 2004-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net