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While the office space we offer could be seen as a cult classic, right now I am discussing the film not our superb work enviroments!
Office Space, one of the most beloved comedies of the late 1990s, is a satire of the typical office job in which most of the characters are fed up with their jobs. The 1999 feature was written and directed by Mike Judge, creator of the Milton cartoon series, and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. In fact, the film was not even a commercial success until it hit video — it has sold well on DVD and video. Office Space now even has a cult following with hordes of people quoting the movie’s script from time to time.
It is important to note that the creator of Office Space didn’t make his directorial debut with this film, but it is Judge’s first venture into live action film. His first feature length film happened to be Beavis and Butt-head Do America. When Office Space was originally released theatrically, moviegoers had a good idea of what brand of humor to expect when they got the theatre — a full dose of low-key irony.
The film centers on a group of unsatisfied employees at an average, run-of-the-mill software company, Initech. The employees are overworked, underpaid, and subjected to excessive management topped off with plenty of micromanagement. And they all have their own cubicles, as you probably have guessed. The characters working in the office include disgruntled Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), Samir Nagheeanajar (Ajay Naidu), Michael Bolton (David Herman), and the ever-mumbling, red stapler-loving Milton Waddams (Stephen Root). The office is run by the annoying Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole) and collectively irritated by “The Bobs (Paul Willson and John C. McGinley).
Peter is bored, depressed, and seeing a morbidly obese “occupational hypnotherapist” who happens to die before he can snap Peter out of a deepened state of relaxation. Peter then progresses through life without caring too much about anything except pursuing his lifelong dream of “doing nothing” and Joanna (Jennifer Aniston, a waitress at the local burger joint who refuses to wear 37 pieces of flare. Peter simply stops caring about everything and despite the downsizing implemented by The Bobs he is promoted while his friends are fired.
Throughout the film, we see that Peter and his friends decide to infect the accounting system with a computer virus and progressively steal fractions of a penny on a daily basis. Though they are extremely careful, there is a misplaced decimal point which results in a much more significant financial loss for Initech. Peter eventually decides to confess to the crime, but Milton saves the day when he sets the office ablaze, thus fixing his own glitch. The film aptly ends with a shot of Milton sipping tropical drinks by a pool, obviously enjoying some of the funds stolen from the accounting system.
Office Space speaks to the disgruntled office worker just as much today as it did a decade ago. If you have ever had a job, you will get a chuckle or two from the different antics that Peter and his group get into. Within each cubicle we can see the different character nuances that all come together quite nicely in this ensemble cast. Office Space a campy, creative look into the world of cubicles that resonates across generations.
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