The Company Men (2010)

9 Oct

The Company Men captures that time in late 2008-early 2009, when the ground fell out from under American workers.  All of a sudden, people were losing jobs left and right– white collar, blue collar, people with 6 months experience, people with 30 years experience.  Joblessness was an epidemic, and no one was safe.

The Company Men follows three executives in the transportation industry, who, despite decades of service, suddenly find themselves pink slip in hand.  Even more painful, once these middle-aged men with mortgages and families to support reenter the competition for new jobs, they find themselves up against fresh-faced college grads willing to work for a fraction of the salary.

Mr. Beez and I were both lucky to be employed during that time, and I feel like we’ve got pretty good job security still.  We had a lot of friends and family members lose their jobs, and even though the rate of layoffs has slowed, we still have a lot of friends and family members looking for work.  I have a ton of lawyer friends who lost their jobs during that period, who haven’t been able to find steady work since, because there are just not enough jobs and too many lawyers.

The Company Men is good for thinking and talking.  It’s a good thing we didn’t see this in the theater, because Mr. Beez and I spent the whole movie discussing what we would do if we were in that situation, and being frustrated over why certain characters were doing certain things.  Ben Affleck’s character, for example, just won’t accept that things are not fine, and that he needs to move on to Plan B, until the very very last minute.  This was incredibly frustrating to both Mr. Beez and I, since we are those kinds of overplanners that seem to have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C ready to execute at any given moment.

The Company Men is definitely depressing, but it does end on a happy note.  Don’t watch it on a night when you want something feel-good. Save it for a night where you’re in the mood to think.

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