DanK extols the virtues of "In the Company of Men.":
> But for me, it acted as a cathartic release of a lot of angry feelings I
> had built up. Last week, FoRK talked about how stimulants like Ritalin
> can calm down hyper-active kids when taken in small does. Similarly,
> all of the spite in this movie seemed to wash those feelings out of my
See, to me, there was no release, because the movie wasn't subtle at
all. It hit me with its points like a sledgehammer. I would have
appreciated some nuances of style, structure, or meaning. These were
completely shallow, 1-dimensional, unambiguous characters acting out a
simple revenge fantasy and describing exactly what they're doing every
step of the way. The revenge fantasy isn't fertile enough to be
satisfying; it's like what a pair of 8-year-olds on South Park would
come up with, only without the scatological humor.
But apparently I wasn't the only one dissatisfied with this "caveman"
approach to filmmaking...
> In attempting to convince a friend to join me at a screening of "In the
> Company of Men," I offered this plot summary: "It's about two corporate
> ladder-climbers who decide to torture a woman in order to reclaim their
> male power in our politically-correct culture." Her response was
> indicative of the heart-warming appeal this film offers to most
> well-adjusted people: "Sorry, but I'm scheduled to spend my evening
> licking my toilet."
> Although the torture is strictly mental, not physical, you'll spend the
> entire film deciding which of the males deserves the majority of your
> hatred: Chad (Aaron Eckhart), the frat-boyish instigator who spews venom
> at everyone he meets, or Howard (Matt Malloy), Chad's dweeby boss whose
> luck with women has gone decidedly south. To reclaim their maleness,
> they elect to find a desperate woman, convince her they're both in love
> with her and then disappear just as things get really serious. On a
> six-week business trip they find such a woman in Christine (Stacy
> Edwards), a deaf secretary.
> This film is pretty much like an episode of "Friends" gone horribly
> awry, analogous to Ross, Joey and Chandler spending their half an hour
> passing out naked pictures of Monica at the local coffee shop. The
> characters spend an inordinate amount of time standing around and
> rehashing the minutiae of day-to-day life. They stand on rooftops, in
> cars, around tables, in offices, and prattle on like drunken Aunt Gabby
> at a family reunion.
> This movie's premise, hailed by critics as "daring," is actually the
> path of least resistance. Director Neil LaBute spends his two hours idly
> jabbing pins into the superegos of moviegoers whose sensitivity training
> has rendered them hypersensitive to such stimuli. Consequently, this
> movie produces one of two reactions: The intelligent viewer exits the
> theater insulted by LaBute's simplistic intellectual game; the easily
> manipulated simpleton spends the whole movie looking to rip the penis
> off the first alpha male in grabbing range.
Beefcake! Man, I am so buff! Kick ass!
-- South Park