Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
|Featuring:||Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, Selma Blair, Clark Gregg|
|Producer:||Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz|
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
Corporate takeover puts middle-aged ad executive Dan Forman in a tough spot in “In Good Company,” the new film from director Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”). Dennis Quaid plays Foreman, a man who seems to have everything going his way at home and at work. He is a successful ad executive with a great office, great employees, and a great home life. At the beginning of the film, he finds a pregnancy test box in the trash can. He assumes it belongs to his college age daughter Alex (Scarlett Johansson) and questions her about it. He is not some nosy, overprotective father; he simply loves his daughter and doesn’t like the idea of her keeping things from him. It turns out the test doesn’t belong to her, but to his wife Ann (Marg Helgenberger).
At the same time, his company is being bought out by a Murdochian media mogul, Teddy K (Malcolm McDowell). Teddy sends in a young businessman named Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) to be the company’s new ad exec. Carter doesn’t really have a clue how to run things; everything he has learned, his mantra, has come from his listening to the great Teddy K. Layoffs ensue, but the wise Carter decides to leave Dan on staff, because, well, Dan has all the ideas. Carter is a workaholic in the process of getting a divorce, and leaches on to Dan for some semblance of normalcy.
Dan inadvertently invites Carter for dinner, to which Carter is more than happy to come. It is at the house that he meets Alex, who he has run into before but never gotten the chance to talk to. The two hit it off, and begin a sweet relationship that is kept secret because of the awkward circumstances.
“In Good Company” makes us feel good from the start. Dennis Quaid again proves to be an actor the rest of us can relate to, and his Dan is an everyman who experiences real-life emotions and problems. Weitz has created characters and given them dialogue that don’t seem far fetched, and puts them in the real world we don’t often see in films. Topher Grace is fine as the business kid in over his head, but who is determined to do what needs to be done, for the synergy of the company. Scarlett Johansson is great as the daughter who loves her father, but proceeds with the relationship without much thought of how it would affect him.
The film contains profanity, but fortunately does a decent job of staying away from the big ones. A few G*d-words are heard, and a handful of various lesser words. There isn’t much sexual content, at least on screen. Carter and Alex go up to her dorm room, where Alex adjusts the lighting and turns on music to set the mood, where it is then implied that they slept together. It is the only scene that really caused concern for me. The Bible makes its stance on sexual relationships outside of marriage very clear, but the scene itself feels forced. I didn’t buy how it played out, and it seemed to be thrown in to set up events later in the film.
Other than that, Johansson and Grace have great chemistry in the film. Again, the only scene where it doesn’t ring true is in her dorm room. It’s a shame that Weitz felt the need to throw it in.
“In Good Company” leaves us feeling good, and refreshed for having seen it. This is a great time of year for films, with all the good stuff out, vying for the awards; the only downside is that a lot of them leave us feeling, well… down. Weitz has given us something real: the humor is real, the characters are real, and the situations are real. If you are expecting something by the book and sub par, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate