Monday, January 17

The company we keep

Despite even more snow (and thus more shoveling) I went to see In Good Company today because I have a serious thing for Topher Grace, which I admit is somewhat inexplicable but in the context of my love for Seth Cohen, actually not that strange. I had high hopes for the movie because Topher is almost always a good time (he was clearly the best part of Win a Date With Tad Hamilton, though I admit that's not saying much). Dennis Quaid also consistently makes my top 25, ever since The Big Easy taught me the meaning of the word "hot." I haven't figured out Scarlett Johansson yet, but I was willing to give her a bye on this one. Plus, I'm cheap for the Simon & Garfunkel they used in the trailer.

The movie itself, tragically, was disappointing -- it wasn't as funny as it needed to be in order to balance out the serious matters it tried to tackle. (Or maybe it was just that it was painful humor? I don't know.) Dennis did a great job as a man struggling to deal with big changes after he thought he had it all figured out -- demotion at work, new baby on the way, new boss is a child. The usual. Topher is also a solid presence as the young upstart who has no idea what the fuck he is doing. (I could identify with that. Except for the young part.) Scarlett is the main false note, and we never really understand why Topher is so enamored of her. I'm not sure if it was poor writing or poor acting, but either way, I wanted her off the screen. The movie worked best when it focused on the painful adjustments that both Dennis and Topher had to make. I like that the movie tried to tackle some of the same questions I've been grappling with in the new year: what I'm doing with my life and why, who I want to do it with, what's important in the end. Unfortunately, In Good Company makes it seem pretty simple: Find out what you believe in and find someone to share the foxhole with. And maybe it really is that simple, but it doesn't feel like it from here.

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