188. Office Space ( US 1999)

 Three office workers plan to defraud their company for all their years of misery.

 

d. Mike Judge

starring: Ron Livingston (Peter Gibbons), Peter Herman (Michael Bolton), Jennifer Aniston (Joanna)

bit part: Mike Judge (as Stan, ‘Chotchkie’s Manager’)

fact: Richard Riehl who plays embittered office worker Symkowski (and invents the ‘Jump to Conclusions’ Mat) appears as a cartoon version of himself in Judge’s most famous creation ‘Beavis and Butthead’

A work of near genius. Writer director Judge catches the nuances and aggravations of modern life with style and wit and verve.

 

Office Space beat Britain ’s The Office to the screen by two years, but it’s not really worth your while trying to compare the two despite their similar subject matter. Both are outstanding in their own different ways.

 

Ron Livingston plays everyman office drone Peter Gibbons, a man who works out that his life has been blighted by working and that every day he works at Initech is the worst day of his life. His two friends at the office Michael Bolton (there was nothing wrong with his name until “that other no talent ass clown came along and started winning Grammies” and Samir Nagheenanajar eventually see the light and use an idea from Superman 3 to rip off the company.

 

I’d need a whole website to do this film justice. There are too many good scenes, brilliant lines and even its own catchphrases ("I think someone’s got a case of the Mundays!”) Livingston is the star of the film with his superb understated performance, but mentions also to Gary Cole (a revelation as slimy boss Lumbergh), David Herman, the brilliant John C. McGinley (as company assassin Bob Slydell) and Stephen Root as mumbling office arsonist Milton Waddams..

 

Great actors, deft comic performances, a fantastic script and brilliant, skilled direction.

See it.