Saturday 31 May 2014

Review: Office Space (1999)

For whatever reason, IMDB has been telling me for months that I need to watch Office Space. It's been one of those films that I really wanted to watch and kept on putting off for no real reason. I work in an office myself so really appreciate office comedy, and it's got Jennifer Aniston in, one of my favourite actresses! As you've probably gathered, I got round to watching it in the end...

Office Space tells the story of Peter Gibbons and his colleagues, who don't enjoy their jobs at all. Management have hired some consultants to downsize the company. Peter is also having problems at home; his girlfriend is cheating on him but convinces him to go to therapy to talk through his issues. In a strange turn of events, Peter actually gets a promotion, and learns that his two closest friends are going to be fired. Together, they hatch a scheme to infect the company's computers with a virus that will pilfer funds from the business to their own bank account.

To be honest, straight after watching this, I wasn't that impressed. It was funny, sure, but it didn't make me laugh out loud, and as Jenna will tell you, I'm easily amused. There was one particular scene that just tickled me and I couldn't stop laughing, this one:

That's just a short clip unfortunately, but it's enough to give you the gist of what's going on. As someone who works in a city but lives on the outskirts, I really connected with that scene!
The more I think about Office Space, the more I actually like it. There's a lot of office comedy out right now, and with TV Shows like The Office and films like Horrible Bosses, Office Space is sort of sadly forgotten. I can understand why it had such amazing reviews when it came out though, I won't argue with those.  I actually don't think this has been forgotten, in fact after watching it I found I finally understood a shed load of memes that I didn't understand before, here are a few of my favourites:

I really enjoyed this film, it was well written and funny and still rings true to offices today.  I think compared to some 90's comedy films, it has aged well.  The smashing of the printer scene had me in stitches, I have spent so many hours daydreaming about destroying the printer (particularly the one in my current office that sounds like it is trying to make contact with an alien species every time you print something!).  One liners keep the pace up and Milton's (Stephen Root) sillier character keep it from being too serious. 
I wouldn't say that this film is timeless, but there are certain jokes and themes that still ring true to this day. The rage you feel about the printer absolutely, and how protective you get over stationary for sure! Thankfully my boss isn't quite as bad as Lumbergh. I fully agree, my stationery is my life, I have lost 6 staplers since travelling abroad for work and it's starting to make me very twitchy, if people ask to borrow it now I follow them around until I get it back :-) I come across like Milton 'I believe you have my stapler' haha!

This is only a must watch for office workers I would say, anyone else just wouldn't connect with it enough to find it funny.

I would happily watch this again, if only for Stephen Root, who is by far the highlight of this film.  Would have been a 7 if not for him.


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