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In Good Company


Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from In Good Company

When Dan Foreman (Quaid), head of advertising at Sports America and aged 51, meets his new boss, his first question is “how old are you?” Carter Duryea (Grace) is an up and coming player in Globecom incorporated which has just bought up Sports America and put him in charge of advertising, despite his only being 26 and having had no experience. Outside of work, Dan’s wife turns out to be pregnant again and he is about to lose his eldest daughter Alex (Johansson) to university life. Meanwhile, Carter’s wife isn’t happy; she’s been seeing another man behind his back but they’ve broken up now, though she still wants a divorce.

Well that’s the general idea of the film, except also that Dan’s daughter ends up having a relationship with his boss, which Dan finds quite worrying. Basically this is a film about people, their working lives and home lives, and what happens when they cross unnaturally. In Good Company really captures this modern day living; especially the kinds of relationships people have with each other, from colleagues to lovers and family.

Although not really billed as a comedy this film is amusing, mostly because of the brilliance of Quaid as the grumpy caring father who wants things to stay the same and can match every ounce of Carter’s enthusiastic nonsense with cynicism. Topher Grace, who played Eric Forman in that 70’s show, completely captures the intricacies of his character, who has to go from firing people one moment to nervously struggling to reply to “You can’t be dad’s boss, you’re too cute” the next.

The director, Paul Weisz is better known for directing About a Boy, and this film has the same appealing edge to it, where the characters all seem like people you’d like to meet. The balance between realism and quirkiness is perfect, and the 109 minutes just flies by like you’ve been talking to friends.

It’s not a romantic comedy because it’s just not that shallow, In Good Company is an emotive, funny and heart-warming tale of the highest calibre and very very hard not to like.

Nick Grills

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)