Reel Reviews

Film Reviews by a Real Person, Not a Critic

Office Space

Title: Office Space
Year: 1999
Director: Mike Judge
Starring Cast: Ron Livingston, Steven Root, Jennifer Aniston, and Gary Cole
Rated: R

Reel Reviews Rating:

I saw Office Space when it first came out. I recently rented it because my boyfriend had never seen it and had heard positive reviews about it. After having seen it for a second time several years later, I don’t think that my opinions about it have changed much.

Peter (Livingston) is a hapless employee in a typical computer company. Like 90% of the population, Peter spends a good chunk of his life commuting in horrible, bumper to bumper traffic, sitting in a tiny, gray cubicle for 8 hours a day, answering to 8 different bosses about the stupidest mundane shit possible, and enduring a never-ending battle against malfunctioning office equipment. His dream in life is to quit his job and do…nothing. Absolutely nothing.

At the behest of his girlfriend, Peter visits an “occupational hypnotherapist” (or something like that) to help him ease his anxious feelings towards his job by hypnotizing him and giving him the command that he will feel completely relaxed towards his job; that his cares about it will disappear. However, an unfortunate incident at the doctor’s office leaves Peter still under hypnosis.

Needless to say, Peter stops caring about his job, much to the surprise of his friends and boss Bill Lumbergh (Cole), especially when the company is in the process of downsizing. Strangely enough, Peter is commended for his approach to work and is actually promoted while his friends are fired. They decide to get revenge on the company that sucked out their souls.

Most people will agree that Office Space should be watched by anyone who has ever worked (or still does) in a dead-end, lifeless white-collar job; anyone who has ever sat in a cubicle and punched numbers in a computer; anyone who has ever wanted to strangle the weird coworker in the neighboring cubicle; anyone who has ever had a patronizing, irritating boss who waits until near the end of the day to assign a new task. I’m sure that the Dilbert fans are Office Space fans.

I thought that the supporting cast did a great job. David Herman and Ajay Naidu are hilarious as Peter’s friends Michael and Samir. They’re such strange but really funny characters. Steven Root is great as Milton Waddams, who originally was one of director Mike Judge’s animated characters. I used to see Milton sketches on MTV, and it was kind of cool to see him brought to life. Milton is so pathetic and sad, yet I can imagine that if I had a coworker like him in real life, I’d want to strangle him.

Gary Cole is terrific as Lumbergh, the irritating boss who tries to be his employees’ friend by visiting their cubicles and making useless small talk. At first he doesn’t seem so bad because he doesn’t yell at anyone, just walking around with a coffee mug…but when he opens his mouth and starts talking, you can just feel the condescending tone emanating from him, and you think of your OWN boss who’s JUST LIKE THIS GUY. We’ve all had a boss like Lumbergh at some point in our lives, and we can’t help but feel sorry for Peter when he asks him to come work on Saturday and Sunday.

Although the supporting cast was awesome, I wasn’t too impressed by Livingston himself. Sure he’s very cute and charming, but other than that he wasn’t that memorable a character. And as the biggest name star in the movie, Aniston’s character was pretty much useless to the plot. I feel like they wanted Aniston in the film for “star power” and created the role of Joanna just for her.

Overall, I thought Office Space was a good comedy. There are many funny moments. I can’t give any examples since that would spoil things 🙂 Those who work in an office and/or hate their jobs will most likely relate to the movie and enjoy it. However, some people may not really get it because they’ve never experienced the work environment (e.g. teenagers). I gave it 4 reels because on one hand, I liked the basic plot and the supporting cast; but at the same time I thought that Peter wasn’t interesting enough, Aniston’s character was completely useless to the plot, and that there are a few unnecessary scenes.


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January 27, 2006 - Posted by | Comedy

7 Comments »

  1. WHAT!?! Four reels! That’s it! Do I have to show you a little skin to up that to six or seven reels? 😉

    I’ve seen Office Space around 30 times. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it around 30 times. I had it on VHS, but I wore that out, so now I have it on DVD. It’s definitely one of my top 15 movies of all time.

    Office Space is much like Kevin Smith’s Clerks, it didn’t earn a lot of money in theaters, but it made up for it with video sales.

    Comment by Marvo | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  2. I’m with Marvo on this one… if my girlfriend loves this movie it has to be a good one…
    She hasn’t seen too many of the great comedies (which I am in the process of changing… I have already gotten her to experience the greatness of Airplane, and she loved it…) and she really enjoys Office Space. I consider any movie that I really like and one that she will sit and watch with me all the way through, a really good movie.

    I thought Livingston nailed the attitude of the worker who just does not care anymore and does not want to be there. I could (a few years ago) relate to him and I felt that he got it right…

    Though you are right about the supporting cast. Mike Bolton and Samir were hilarious…

    Comment by J | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  3. I saw this move and couldn’t stop watching.It almost made me pee a few times. Thats a good thing btw. 🙂

    p.s. I love Dilbert too.But I have a blue collar job (factory worker )

    Comment by foo | January 27, 2006 | Reply

  4. Marvo, J, and foo…ya see, I would have given Office Space a higher rating had it not been for Jennifer Aniston’s presence. I think that she threw off the movie and didn’t belong there. Like I said, it seems like they just put her in the movie to get more people to watch.

    Also, I thought that the neighbor’s role was unnecessary. I didn’t really find it funny that they can hear each other through their walls. I felt, “eh”.

    I did like the movie a whole lot, but those elements I mentioned brought it down quite a bit IMO. Sorry guys 🙂

    PS: Marvo, you can still show me some skin if you like 😉

    Comment by Toni | January 28, 2006 | Reply

  5. I’d stick with the mediocre review. This was like a SNL skit that went too long. It started very funny and then (I thought) the story died. It was like they knew they had to get it to 90 minutes and the original screenwriter died after the first 30.

    Comment by Photo Steve | January 30, 2006 | Reply

  6. I’m with you on that Steve. Yeah, I thought that the first half of the movie was really funny, especially when the trio started bashing the printer. But then it lost steam somewhere in the middle, and it kind of dragged from then on.

    Comment by Toni | January 30, 2006 | Reply

  7. Office Space is one of my all time favorite movies! Yes, I work in an office with cubicles, weird co-workers, and TPS reports…the whole shebang. Interestingly enough my son, who watched the movie the first time with me when he was about 17, thought it was hilarious. Anytime I get really fed up with my job, and have a “case of the Monday’s”, I think of quotes from the movie and then I don’t have to slit my wrists!

    Comment by Brooke | March 23, 2006 | Reply


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