IN GOOD COMPANY: DVD
When 51 year old Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid), the ad sales team leader at the weekly magazine, Sports America, is demoted in favour of Carter Dureya (Topher Grace) a 26 year old whiz kid, his safety zone crumbles. The timing couldn't be worse, with his wife's unexpected pregnancy and his eldest daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson) wanting to go to the expensive NYU. But they do get worse, when he discovers that Carter and Alex have started an affair. The company has been taken over and jobs are lost; will Dan's be next? Will life ever be the same again?
Review by Louise Keller:
Set on a corporate battleground, In Good Company is a good -natured film that makes for very good company with its astute, well-judged performances and an unsentimental, well observed script. Written and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy) and his brother Chris Weitz, who together collaborated on the American Pie franchise, the film is entertaining and funny in a real kind of way, as it observes human behaviour and relationships at work and at play. Two men at different ages and stages of their lives meet, clash and learn something from each other. There couldn't be two more different types of men than Dennis Quaid's sincere sales executive and Topher Grace's ambitious corporate climber Carter. They begin by having nothing in common and end up with an understanding that stems from mutual respect. This is a story filled with irony and coincidence, as the men struggle to come to terms with the changes that are forced upon them.
Quaid's multi-layered Dan Foreman is the epitome of the decent all-American bloke, who gets up at the crack of dawn and doesn't come home until the wee small hours, working hard at the job he believes in and for the family he loves. Quaid is a likeable actor who can charm with his boyish smile, or convince us he is a bloke's bloke with a firm handshake. Dan's demotion at work to an 'emotionally crippled asshole' young enough to be his son is made much worse when he learns that Carter is seeing his precious daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson) who brings gravitas to every single scene - from her beautifully expressive face to her natural delivery. There's an easiness about the atmosphere at the Foreman household which rings true. Situations, such as when Carter invites himself to dinner and the meal (which ends up on the floor) is quickly replaced after a speedy phone call to Dominos, are never overplayed or played for laughs. We recognize moments like these as being part of family life and as a result, we connect with the characters.
Grace (Win a Date With Tad Hamilton) starts out as a slimy upstart, and we sympathise with his wife (Selma Blair effective in a small role), but develops into a vulnerable and appealing human in touch with his own emotions and those around him. Carter believes he knows what he wants, but it's not until he meets Dan, that he recognizes that the Porsche, the promotion and the power have little of the allure he once thought. With only his pet fish Buddy to keep him company, Carter's life increasingly seems hollow, while Dan's life is replete with meaningful relationships and a job which he enjoys because he really believes in what he does. In Good Company is an old fashioned character driven film that has no major plot points, car chases or special effects. It's involving, occasionally touching and often funny, delighting us with the honest pen of which it is born.
Paul Weitz and Topher Grace team up for an audio commentary on the DVD, which also features some deleted scenes.
Published August 11, 2005
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IN GOOD COMPANY: DVD (PG)
CAST: Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johannson, Marg Helgenberger, Philip Baker Hall, Selma Blair
PRODUCER: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
DIRECTOR: Paul Weitz
SCRIPT: Paul Weitz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Remi Adefarasin
EDITOR: Myron I. Kerstein
MUSIC: Stephen Trask
PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Arnold
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 21, 2005
PRESENTATION: Widescreen 16:9/1.85:1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with Paul Weitz and Topher Grace; SYNERGY short featurettes; deleted scenes; cast and crew bios
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: August 11, 2005