Top 100 Films #98 – Office Space (1999)

 

696_4_screenshot#98. Office Space (1999)
Directed by: Mike Judge
Written by: Mike Judge (based on Milton by Mike Judge)
Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Root, Gary Cole

Mike Judge (creator of King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-Head) certainly seems to know working-class Americans like few other contemporary filmmakers.  Office Space is without a doubt the pinnacle of his work, combining an all-too relatable workplace fantasy with Judge’s trademark dry humor.  The film follows Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) as he starts to view his everyday life from a fresh perspective – no longer caring about the trivialities in life that once plagued his every waking moment.  Peter and two dissatisfied colleagues Samir (Ajay Naidu) and Michael Bolton (David Herman) become involved in a scheme that threatens their very existence.  Featuring a varied cast of hilarious and quirky characters like Stephen Root’s Milton, Gary Cole’s Bill Lumbergh, Richard Riehle’s Tom Smykowski (the “jump to conclusions mat” is one of the film’s many highlights) and David Herman’s Michael Bolton (no relation to the singer), Office Space is Mike Judge doing what he does best.  It’s endlessly quotable, features multiple engaging subplots, and is sadly relatable for far too many people.  The fact that a writer-director as acclaimed as Mike Judge has yet to repeat the success of Office Space says a great deal about the film’s quality.

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