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Office Space (DVD) Review
If Seinfeld is a show about nothing, then Office Space is the hit comedy about one man’s “dream of doing nothing”… Arguably the best work-related comedy ever written, Office Space follows the life of Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), a computer programmer in his late-twenties who hates his mind-numbing job updating bank software for Initech Corporation. Hilarious from beginning to end, Office Space is the ideal comedy for anyone who’s spent one iota of life wasting away in a cubicle.
Office Space focuses on the mundane world of Peter Gibbons and his fellow computer programmers Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu) and Michael Bolton (David Herman). All three men are plagued by the condescending, soul-killing management techniques of their Satan-like boss, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole), who begins every utterance with a protracted “Yeah…” Terribly unhappy with his job, and discontent with his romantic relationship, Peter whines about his horrible life while sipping coffee at Chotchkie’s, a local restaurant where he’s infatuated with a beautiful waitress named Joanna (Jennifer Aniston). Just like Peter, Joanna hates her job and her evil boss who forces her to wear “pieces of flair”. Samir and Michael encourage Peter to ask her out, but he’s too paralyzed by life to do anything.
All that changes, however, when Peter visits a hypnotherapist with his girlfriend. In the act of sending Peter into a state of total relaxation, the hypnotherapist suffers a heart attack. His untimely death leaves Peter in a perpetual state of relaxation, providing his life with a much needed injection of enjoyment. The next morning, Peter sleeps through work, dumps his girlfriend, and asks Joanna out to lunch. The two hit it off, and Peter tells Joanna that he’s going to stop going to work.
After a good week or so of neglecting his job, two independent consultants, Bob Slydell (John McGinley) and Bob Porter (Paul Willson), promote Peter to the upper ranks of management. Meanwhile, studious co-workers Samir and Michael are slated to be fired. Armed with this insider information, Peter approaches Michael about concocting a previously mentioned computer program to take the remainders of every bank transaction at Initech and funnel them into a private account owed by Peter, Samir, and Michael. Michael is reluctant until he finds out he’s going to be fired.
While the two set out to convince Samir that their plan will work, resident office weirdo Milton Waddams (Stephen Root) is in the process of having his paycheck stopped by the consultants who uncover the fact that Milton was fired several years earlier but is still being paid. When Bill Lumbergh moves Milton’s desk into the basement, he quietly vows revenge.
Meanwhile, one of the funniest sequences in the movie takes place when long-time corporate cog Tom Smykowski (Richard Riehle) achieves a lifelong dream when he’s severely injured by a drunk driver. Fresh off a seven-figure settlement, and in possession of his prototype “jump to conclusions mat,” Tom tells Peter to hang in there, that life has a lot of good things in store for those who wait. In the meantime, Samir and Michael grow nervous when Tom’s lawyer reveals that white collar criminals go to federal “pound-me-in-the-ass” prison where they better “beat someone up or become someone’s bitch” on the first day. Office Space is one laugh after another, and our heroes’ nefarious plan works surprisingly well until it hits an unforeseen glitch. With their well laid scheme going up in smoke, Milton decides to create some smoke of his own.
The brainchild of King of the Hill and Beavis & Butthead creator Mike Judge, Office Space will leave you in absolute stitches. Funny from beginning to end, with a plot mysteriously similar to Superman 3, this is one movie you need to see at least once if you’ve ever been trapped in a job from hell, and haven’t we all?
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