Monday, August 24, 2009

#493: In the Company of Men (1997)

Director: Neil LaBute
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy & Stacy Edwards

When two misogynistic businessmen decide to play a game, a sad but comedic drama ensues. The woman-hating Chad and the bumbling Howard decide to both date the same woman and break up with her when they both move out of town for business. Their victim: a deaf secretary at their office.

There are no tricks to this film. No involved camerawork, no special effects. No musical score. It's all script and some damn good acting. Eckhart is the perfect prick, possibly the most hate-able character I have ever come across. Malloy is the all-too-innocent pushover. Edwards plays a convincing deaf woman who is so easily the target of jokes, despite her remarkably kind soul.

I had a hard time adjusting to the film, mainly because of the style of speech. It's a very realistic style in which the actors aren't afraid to speak quietly, making the audience really lean in to hear them. Once I became accustomed to it, though, this film really drew me in. It's just too easy to have strong emotion towards these three characters.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • Stacy Edwards (Christine) originally could not star because she was getting married at the time the movie was scheduled to start shooting. The producers pushed back the schedule to accommodate her.
  • According to writer-director Neil LaBute, his script began with the line "Let's hurt somebody" and developed from there.
  • Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies".
This is Richie L, and I endorse this film.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I have never actively hated a film character as much as I despised Chad. That really does speak volumes as to how well the character is written - just as it is difficult to make someone love a character, it can be hard to make someone hate one.