Office Space (1999):The Most Underrated Comedy of all Time.
Office Space (1999) Mike Judge ****
Mike Judge’s 1999 comedy masterpiece Office Space is without doubt the most underrated comedy film ever made. Virtually ignored upon release and definitely not a box office hit, Office Space has found a cult following years later as one of the funniest films to depict the average office worker.
Set in a suburban Texas corporate office park, the film tells the story of Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), a highly unmotivated office drone that spends his thankless work days staring at his computer screen and getting chewed out by 8 different bosses. His life during his mid 20’s has become shallow and predictable and the only positive people in his life are his dimwitted neighbor and the sexy waitress at the local restaurant who he has yet to ask out on a date. (Jennifer Aniston).
Peter’s co-workers and best friends Michael Bolton (David Herman) and Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu) spend their days wrestling with a malfunctioning printer and getting constant smarmy remarks about their names by other employees. Another co-worker Milton Waddams (Stephen Root) spends his days mumbling to himself and obsessing over his red swigline stapler and making very subtle threats of burning down the building. All four are constantly harassed and bothered by their eight useless bosses.
Having enough of his soul crushing job, Peter decides to seek the help of an Occupational Hypnotherapist who induces him into a deep hypnosis which makes him completely relaxed and nonchalant towards his responsibilities. Awakening the next morning to incessant phone calls from his egotistical boss Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole) and his cheating girlfriend, Peter now has a new outlook on life. His longtime dream if doing absolutely nothing is about to come true.
Little does Peter know that his new attitude on life is about to get him promoted while his two buddies are on the verge of getting fired. Their only solution to this grave injustice is to program a virus into the company software that will discreetly rip the company off due to an accounting glitch. Unfortunately the plan backfires and they end up stealing much more than anticipated and now the very real fear of “Federal Pound me in the Ass Prison” has begun and they must find a way to return the money to clear their guilty conscience.
Office Space is one of those films that was extremely hard to market to a wide audience since it is not filled with ridiculous toilet humor and endless scenes of slapstick. The humor is very subtle and understood best by people who have actually worked in the brain-dead office cubicle environment. Directed by Mike Judge the creator of Beavis & Butthead who also has a cameo as Jennifer Aniston’s snarky boss. Office Space was released in 1999 and was nearly forgotten until a few years later when it premiered on Comedy Central and instantly became a cultural phenomenon.
Filled with memorable characters and well written dialogue, a sequel has been rumored for years but has yet to be given the go ahead. Definitely one of the best comedy films and highly underrated. Buy the Blu Ray special edition available now.