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Office Space

Theatrical poster
Directed by Mike Judge
Produced by Daniel Rappaport
Michael Rotenberg
Written by Mike Judge
Starring Ron Livingston
Jennifer Aniston
David Herman
Ajay Naidu
Diedrich Bader
Gary Cole
Stephen Root
John C. McGinley
Music by John Frizzell
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Editing by David Rennie
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 19, 1999
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $10,827,813

Office Space is a 1999 American comedy film written and directed by Mike Judge. It satirizes work life in a typical 1990s software company, focusing on a handful of individuals who are fed up with their jobs. The film's sympathetic portrayal of ordinary IT workers garnered it a cult following among those in that profession, but the film also addresses themes familiar to office workers and white collar employees in general. It was filmed in Dallas and Austin, Texas.

Office Space is based on the Milton series of cartoons created by Mike Judge. Office Space was Mike Judge's foray into live action film and his second full length motion picture release (the first being the animated Beavis and Butt-head Do America). The promotional campaign for Office Space often associated it with Beavis and Butt-head, leading audiences to expect the brand of humor of the creator's previous animated efforts rather than the relatively low-key ironic humor of the film.

While not a box office success, the film has become a cult classic; it has since sold very well on VHS and DVD.

Contents

Plot

The film is centered on a group of software engineers working at Initech, a company plagued by excessive management. Much of the film's plot involves everyday annoyances of office work in a cube farm setting evocative of the Dilbert comic strip.

Peter Gibbons is a disgruntled programmer at Initech. Peter spends his days "staring at his desk" instead of reprogramming bank software for the then-expected Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar, who is annoyed by the fact that nobody can pronounce his last name correctly; Michael Bolton, who loathes having the same name as the famous singer, whom he hates; and Milton Waddams, a meek, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself (most notably about his workmates borrowing his favorite red Swingline stapler). All four are repeatedly bullied and harassed by management, especially Initech's callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh. The staff are further agitated by the arrival of two consultants, informally known as "The Bobs", since they share the same first name, who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing.

Peter is depressed, bored, and pushed around at work. He attends an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his girlfriend, Anne. The obese hypnotherapist, Dr. Swanson, suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter wakes up the next morning and ignores continued calls from Anne (who confesses to cheating and leaves him) and Lumbergh (who was expecting Peter to work over the weekend). Peter announces that he will simply not go to work anymore, instead pursuing his lifelong dream of "doing nothing," and asks out Joanna, a waitress who shares Peter's loathing of idiotic management and love of the television program Kung Fu. Joanna works at Chotchkie's, a restaurant that plays on TGI Friday's interior decoration and uniform standards (Joanna's hatred for her occupation eventually culminates in an argument with her boss and her being fired after she gives him the finger).

Peter then begins removing items at work that exemplify his unhappiness (inspirational banners, a wall of his cubicle that blocks his view, and a fax machine that is prone to constant errors) and takes Lumbergh's parking spot. Despite Peter's poor attendance record, laziness and insubordination at work, he is promoted by the Bobs because of the positive impression he leaves upon them with his earnestness. Meanwhile, Michael and Samir are fired, seemingly a symptom of the disposability with which the consultants view most Initech employees. To exact revenge on Initech, the three friends decide to infect the accounting system with a computer virus, designed to divert fractions of pennies into a bank account they control. A misplaced decimal point causes the virus to steal over $300,000 in the first few days, a far more conspicuous loss to Initech. After a crisis of conscience and a discussion with Joanna, Peter writes a letter in which he takes all the blame for the crime, then slips an envelope containing the letter and the money (in unsigned traveler's checks) under the door of Lumbergh's office late one night.

He fully expects to be arrested the next morning, but his problem solves itself: Milton, after getting his stapler taken away by Lumbergh, being increasingly ignored, having to move to the cockroach-infested basement, and not receiving any more paychecks, finally snaps and sets fire to the Initech office building, having warned several times throughout the film that he would do so (Milton had actually been laid off years earlier; nobody told him, and he continued to come in to work and get paid due to a system glitch). Peter finally finds a job that he likes: doing construction work with his next door neighbor, Lawrence. Samir and Michael get jobs at Intertrode, a rival company. While helping haul away the rubble from the fire, Peter finds Milton's stapler and keeps it, saying "I think I know someone who might want this".

The last scene of the movie shows that Milton has made his way to a resort in Mexico with the money Peter left in Lumbergh's office.

Cast

Actor Role Notes
Ron Livingston Peter Gibbons Main protagonist - Disgruntled computer programmer working for Initech.
Jennifer Aniston Joanna Peter's prospective girlfriend
Gary Cole Bill Lumbergh Peter's main boss and main antagonist
David Herman Michael Bolton Peter's co-worker and friend
Ajay Naidu Samir Nagheenanajar Peter's co-worker and friend
Alexandra Wentworth Anne Peter's cheating girlfriend
Stephen Root Milton Waddams Meek obsessive Initech employee; mumbles a lot
Richard Riehle Tom Smykowski Useless Initech employee
Diedrich Bader Lawrence Peter's wise, construction-worker, next-door neighbor
Jenn Emerson Female Temp Super-happy "case of the Mondays" girl
Paul Willson Bob Porter Consultant
John C. McGinley Bob Slydell Consultant
Kinna McInroe Nina Initech employee
Todd Duffey Brian Chotchkie's employee
Greg Pitts Drew Initech employee (the "O-face guy")
Mike McShane Dr. Swanson Peter's "occupational hypnotherapist" who dies in his first session.
Linda Wakeman Laura Smykowski Tom's wife
Kyle Scott Jackson Rob Newhouse Tom's lawyer
Carolyn Cauley Initech Employee (Uncredited)
Orlando Jones Steve Door-to-door magazine salesman
Barbara George-Reiss Peggy Lumbergh's secretary
Mike Judge Stan Manager of Chotchkie's (credited pseudonymously as "William King")
Jack Betts The Judge Appears in a dream to sentence Peter's friends to prison and rule Peter himself "a very bad person".
John Cauley Initech Employee (Uncredited)

Artie Lange also auditioned for the role of Milton.[1] He describes his audition as being so bad it was "like a plumber who won a radio contest and got to try out for a movie".

Production

Filmed primarily in Austin, Texas, the origins for Office Space lie in a series of four animated short films about an office drone named Milton that Mike Judge created, which first aired on Liquid Television and Night After Night with Allan Havey, and later aired on Saturday Night Live.[2] The inspiration came from a temp job he once had that involved alphabetizing purchase orders[3] and a job he had as an engineer for three months in the Bay Area during the 1980s, "just in the heart of Silicon Valley and in the middle of that overachiever yuppie thing, it was just awful".[4] The setting of the film reflected a prevailing trend that Judge observed in the United States. "It seems like every city now has these identical office parks with identical adjoining chain restaurants", he said in an interview.[2] He remembers, "There were a lot of people who wanted me to set this movie in Wall Street, or like the movie Brazil, but I wanted it very unglamorous, the kind of bleak work situation like I was in".[3]

Judge sold the film to 20th Century Fox based on his script and a cast that included Jennifer Aniston, Ron Livingston, and David Herman.[2] Originally, the studio wanted to make a movie out of the Milton character but Judge was not interested, opting instead to make more of an ensemble cast–based film.[4] The studio suggested he make a movie like Car Wash but "just set in an office".[4] Judge made the relatively painless transition from animation to live-action with the help of the film's director of photography who taught him about lenses and where to put the camera. Judge says, "I had a great crew, and it's good going into it not pretending you're an expert".[3] Studio executives were not happy with the footage Judge was getting. He remembers them telling him, "More energy! More energy! We gotta reshoot it! You're failing! You're failing!"[5] In addition, Fox did not like the gangsta rap music used in the film until a focus group approved of it. Judge hated the ending and felt that a complete rewrite of the third act was necessary.[5]

Judge also hated the poster that the studio created for Office Space. He said, "People were like, 'What is this? A big bird? A mummy? A beekeeper?' And the tagline 'Work Sucks'? It looked like an Office Depot ad. I just hated it. I hated the trailers, too and the TV ads especially".[5] Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Tom Rothman conceded that the marketing campaign did not work and said, "Office Space isn't like American Pie. It doesn't have the kind of jokes you put in a 15-second television spot of somebody getting hit on the head with a frying pan. It's sly. And let me tell you, sly is hard to sell".[5]

Reception

Office Space was released on February 19, 1999 in 1,740 theatres, grossing USD $4.2 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.8 million in North America, barely recouping its production costs.[6] On the Monday after the opening weekend, Judge received a phone call from Jim Carrey's agent. The comedian loved the film and wanted to meet him. Chris Rock called two weeks later.[5]

The film received positive reviews[5] with a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 68 metascore on Metacritic. In his review in the New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote, "It has the loose-jointed feel of a bunch of sketches packed together into a narrative that doesn't gather much momentum".[7] Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote that Judge, "treats his characters a little like cartoon creatures. That works. Nuances of behavior are not necessary, because in the cubicle world every personality trait is magnified, and the captives stagger forth like grotesques".[8] In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle writes, "Livingston is nicely cast as Peter, a young guy whose imagination and capacity for happiness are the very things making him miserable".[9] In the USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna wrote, "If you've ever had a job, you'll be amused by this paean to peons".[10]

However, Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C" rating and criticized it for feeling "cramped and underimagined".[11] In his review for the Globe and Mail, Rick Groen wrote, "Perhaps his TV background makes him unaccustomed to the demands of a feature-length script (the ending seems almost panicky in its abruptness); or maybe he just succumbs to the lure of the easy yuk . . . what began as discomfiting satire soon devolves into silly farce".[12]

In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named Office Space one of the "The 100 best films from 1983 to 2008", ranking it at #73.[13]

Legacy

Office Space has become a cult classic, selling very well on home video.[14] As of 2003, it had sold 2.6 million copies on VHS and DVD.[15] In the same year, it was in the top 20 best-selling Fox DVDs along with There's Something About Mary.[16] The movie is also available on Blu-ray.

Comedy Central premiered Office Space on August 5, 2001 and 1.4 million viewers tuned in. By 2003, the channel had broadcast the film another 33 times.[16] These broadcasts helped develop the film's cult following and Ron Livingston remembers being approached by college students and office workers. He said, "I get a lot of people who say, 'I quit my job because of you.' That's kind of a heavy load to carry".[16] People approached Stephen Root asking him to sign their staplers. The Red Swingline stapler featured prominently in the film was not available until April 2002 when the company released it in response to repeated requests by fans of Office Space.[16] Entertainment Weekly ranked it fifth on its list "25 Great Comedies From the Past 25 Years", despite having originally given the film a poor review.[17] On February 8, 2009, a reunion of the cast took place at the Paramount Theatre in Austin to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the movie, which included the destruction of a fax machine on the sidewalk.[18]

Soundtrack

Office Space: Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by various artists
Released February 18, 1999
Genre Hip hop, Rap
Length 44:35
Label Interscope
Professional reviews

Track listing

  1. "Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee" (Canibus/Biz Markie) - 4:21
  2. "Get Dis Money" (Slum Village) - 3:36
  3. "Get Off My Elevator" (Kool Keith) - 3:46
  4. "Big Boss Man" (Junior Reid) - 3:46
  5. "9-5" (Lisa Stone) - 3:40
  6. "Down for Whatever" (Ice Cube) - 4:40
  7. "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" (Geto Boys) - 5:09
  8. "Home" (Blackman/Destruct/Icon) - 4:22
  9. "No Tears" (Scarface) - 2:27
  10. "Still" (Geto Boys) - 4:03
  11. "Mambo #8" (Perez Prado) - 2:06
  12. "Peanut Vendor" (Perez Prado) - 2:39

See also

PC LOAD LETTER error, parodied in Office Space

References

  1. ^ Tallerico, Brian. "Artie Lange's Beer League DVD Review". UGO.com. http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=16420. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  2. ^ a b c Fierman, Daniel (February 26, 1999). "Judge's Dread". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,274497,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  3. ^ a b c Beale, Lewis (February 21, 1999). "Mr. Beavis Goes to Work". Daily News. 
  4. ^ a b c Sherman, Paul (February 21, 1999). "Humorist is a good Judge of office angst". Boston Herald. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Valby, Karen (May 23, 2003). "The Fax of Life". Entertainment Weekly: pp. 41. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,452194,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  6. ^ "Office Space". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=officespace.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (February 19, 1999). "One Big Happy Family? No, Not At This Company". New York Times. 
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 19, 1999). "Office Space". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19990219/REVIEWS/902190304/1023. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  9. ^ LaSalle, Mick (February 19, 1999). "Workers' Souls Lost In Space". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1999/02/19/DD36341.DTL. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  10. ^ Wioszczyna, Susan (February 19, 1999). "No Frills Office Party". USA Today. 
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (March 5, 1999). "Office Space". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,274661,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  12. ^ Groen, Rick (February 19, 1999). "Workplace satire almost does the job". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/movie/MOVIEREVIEWS/19990219/TASPAC. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  13. ^ "The New Classics: Movies". Entertainment Weekly. June 16, 2008. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20207076_20207387_20207063,00.html. Retrieved August 8, 2009. 
  14. ^ Doty, Meriah (March 4, 2003). "Film flops flourish on DVD, VHS". CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/04/second.wind/index.html. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  15. ^ Valby 2003, p. 39.
  16. ^ a b c d Valby 2003, p. 42.
  17. ^ "The Comedy 25: The Funniest Movies of the Past 25 Years". Entertainment Weekly. August 27, 2008. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20221235_21,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  18. ^ ""Office Space" Turns 10". KTBC. February 8, 2009. http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/news/020809_office_space_turns_10. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Office Space is a 1999 comedy film that pokes fun at work life in a typical software company during the 1990s by portraying individuals who are completely fed up with their jobs.

Directed and written by Mike Judge.
Work Sucks taglines

Contents

Peter Gibbons

  • We don't have a lot of time on this earth. We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.

Bill Lumbergh

  • Ah, ah, I almost forgot...I'm also going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. We, uhhh, lost some people this week and we sorta need to play catch-up. Mmmmmkay? Thaaaaaanks.

Michael Bolton

  • Cockgobblers!
  • There *was* nothing wrong with it [his name]... until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.

Bob Slydell

  • What would ya say...ya do here?

Dialogue

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: [laughs] That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, 'cause chicks dig a dude with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well the kind of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: Well what about you now? what would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I'd relax, I would sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he's broke, don't do shit.

Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that's messed up.

Joanna: So, where do you work, Peter?
Peter Gibbons: Initech.
Joanna: Ini- yeah, what do you do there?
Peter Gibbons: I sit in a cubicle and I update bank software for the 2000 switch.
Joanna: What's that?
Peter Gibbons: Well see, they wrote all this bank software, and, uh, to save space, they used two digits for the date instead of four. So, like, 98 instead of 1998? Uh, so I go through these thousands of lines of code and, uh... it doesn't really matter. I uh, I don't like my job, and, uh, I don't think I'm gonna go anymore.
Joanna: You're just not gonna go?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Joanna: Won't you get fired?
Peter Gibbons: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go.
Joanna: So you're gonna quit?
Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh, I'm just gonna stop going.
Joanna: When did you decide all that?
Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.
Joanna: Oh, really? About an hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?
Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.
Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and...
Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.
Joanna: Well, so what do you wanna do?
Peter Gibbons: I wanna take you out to dinner, and then I wanna go back to my apartment and watch Kung Fu. Do you ever watch Kung Fu?
Joanna: [surprised] I love Kung Fu.
Peter Gibbons: Channel 39.
Joanna: Totally.
Peter Gibbons: You should come over and watch Kung Fu tonight.
Joanna': Okay, Okay, can we order lunch first? Okay?

Peter Gibbons: It's not just about me and my dream of doing nothing. It's about all of us. I don't know what happened to me at that hypnotherapist and, I don't know, maybe it was just shock and it's wearing off now, but when I saw that fat man keel over and die - Michael, we don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
Michael Bolton: I told those fudge-packers I liked Michael Bolton's music.
Peter Gibbons: Oh. That is not right, Michael.

Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: Well, I wouldn't exactly say I've been missing it, Bob.

Bob Slydell: You see, what we're trying to do is get a feeling for how people spend their time at work so if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Bob Slydell: Great.
Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh - after that I sorta space out for an hour.
Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

Peter Gibbons: You see, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.
Bob Porter: Don't- don't care?
Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's another thing, I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Porter: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Bob Slydell: Would you bear with me for just a second here.
Peter Gibbons: Okay.
Bob Slydell: What if - and believe me this is hypothetical - but what if you were offered some kind of a stock option equity sharing program. Would that do anything for you?
Peter Gibbons: I don't know, I guess. Listen, I'm gonna go. It's been really nice talking to both you guys.
Bob Slydell: Absolutely, the pleasure's all on this side of the table, trust me.
Peter Gibbons: Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really, really well.
Bob Porter: Excellent.
Bob Slydell: Great. Wow.

Taglines

  • Work Sucks

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Office Space
Directed by Mike Judge
Produced by Daniel Rappaport
Michael Rotenberg
Written by Mike Judge
Starring Ron Livingston
Jennifer Aniston
David Herman
Ajay Naidu
Diedrich Bader
Gary Cole
Stephen Root
Music by John Frizzell
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Editing by David Rennie
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 19, 1999
Running time 89 minutes
Country
Language English
Budget $10,000,000 (estimated)
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Office Space is a 1999 comedy movie starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston. The movie was directed by Mike Judge. The movie is a satire of white collar office work in the United States.

Reception

Office Space received mostly positive reviews from reviewers, which means that most of them thought that it was a good movie.[1] However, it did not make very much money at movie theaters, only earning $10,827,810 from movie tickets.[2] The movie went on to become a cult classic,[3] becoming more popular over time.

References


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