Chad (Aaron Eckhart), furious about the way women are ruining his man’s world, enlists his wishy-washy co-worker (Matt Malloy) in a callous plan to date then dump a vulnerable secretary (Stacy Edwards). Both horrifying and hilarious, “In the Company of Men” is “a brilliant black comedy… sure to be one of the best pictures of the year. This is a movie event.”
1997 – Certificate: R – Canadian Film
8.0 out of 10
For the past few days I’ve had the worst cold ever. The sort of cold that’s so bad it’s probably new to medical science and if anyone but me had it they’d be in hospital in intensive care; but I don’t like to make a fuss. Somewhat ironically, the day before I got it I’d remarked to a colleague how I hadn’t had one for ages and was considering the possibility that I’d somehow become immune to all forms of illness. Actually I’m blaming it on foreigners. It came on when I was in Kent for an overnight stay, so it’s probably some weird pathogen that somehow got blown across the Channel from France or somewhere. I think I’ll vote UKIP in the next election; I bet they’d keep this sort of thing out of the country. It’s Sunday evening now and its effects are starting to recede a little. Typically and somewhat heroically, I’ve been sick over the weekend. I often wonder if it’s better to be sick in my own time and reduce the consequential pile-up of work that results if I’m sick during the week. Life as a middle manager is tough, let me tell you. This film is about middle managers too.
I watch plenty of films with unpleasant, creepy or just plain nasty people in them. Destroying the universe, taking over the Earth, torturing innocents and blowing stuff up are commonplace. Whatever. Fortunately, most of these sorts of people don’t exist, or only do so in very small numbers. However, this film features two of the most annoying guys I’ve come across for quite a while, probably because they’re just a bit too ‘normal’ to explain away as a script writer’s dirty fantasy; I suspect people like them really do exist. One’s an exploitative, misogynist, back-stabbing middle management type with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. The other is one of his colleagues and a weedy, whiney loser. This is a movie about two ‘ordinary guys’ deciding to mess up a young woman’s life for no better reason than because they want to. In a lot of ways it reminded me of “Cruel Intentions”. It’s the sign of a good film when the two principal characters are uniformly loathable, yet somehow you half want them to keep going. The fact that the woman they pick on is disabled (and to be honest a bit boring), just makes it all worse. I felt like I was visiting the scene of a car crash; of course not wanting anyone to be hurt, but secretly getting a bit excited by the fact that someone might have lost a limb or two anyway.) It’s the same as watching motor racing; you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but the crashes and the risk of them do make things more exciting. At the end I didn’t know whether to be horrified, or think, “fuck, yeah, lucky bastard.” This is a nicely made and acted film; I enjoyed it! The trailer makes it look much more of a comedy than it really is.
The only music used in this film is made up of the sound of a saxophone being strangled over the top of a drum solo of sorts. I guess it’s some type of modern jazz. I have to say it works very well though.
Recommended for assholes, secretaries, middle managers and feminists.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? That’s a tough question. This is a film full of ambitious but somewhat inadequate middle managers, who wouldn’t know a badass moment if they sat on the toilet for a week with one. It’s a movie without a single, redeeming act of kindness or heroics in it, so for the first time in many months I have to admit defeat and accept my failure to identify one. Sorry. :-(