Reviewed by: Alaina Kaufman
the affects of losing one’s job
how a man’s vocation sometimes defines him
couples under severe stress due to finances
Lavish material possessions are far less important than family, friends and love.
the proud will be humbled / importance of genuine humility
Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer
DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer
If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer
|Featuring:||Ben Affleck … Bobby Walker
Kevin Costner … Jack
Tommy Lee Jones … Gene McClary
Chris Cooper … Phil Woodward
Maria Bello … Sally
Rosemarie DeWitt … Maggie
Craig T. Nelson … Salinger
John Doman … Dysert
Kathy Harum … Karen, Gene McClary’s secretary
|Producer:||The Weinstein Company
Battle Mountain Films
|Distributor:||The Weinstein Company|
“In America, we give our lives to our jobs. It’s time to take them back.”
“The Company Men,” a drama set in high society present day, begins by laying out the lives of three men working for one company, GTX. Gene, the highest on the company ladder is best friends with the CEO, with whom he started GTX. Gene is Bobby’s boss, who is an up and coming salesman. But within the first ten minutes of the movie, Bobby gets fired from his job by Gene’s best friend, the CEO. Most of the movie centers around Bobby and his family. He has a wife and two kids, and they all live in an enormous house and have a club membership at the golf course. Phil, who has worked for the company for thirty years and began in the warehouse, has an overpaid position, and, once Bobby gets fired, starts worrying. He has a daughter getting ready to go to college at an elite school and a wife who spends most of her days in bed.
Thus begins the downward spiral of events that leads to the two other men being fired, and the remainder of the movie shows how the three men deal with their new lives in different ways.
The reasons why or why not to watch this movie can easily be told by looking at each of the three men. Partway through the movie, we discover Gene is having an affair. This is where the nudity comes in. Though it is brief, it is very clear. I was very disheartened when I learned of the affair, because I had come to respect his character as being the one to stand up for the rights of his employees. Even to the end, he holds his stand for justice.
Then there is Bobby, who was so caught up in the world of wealth and moving up, that he is completely lost when it comes to dealing with the loss of a job, and, for some time, denies its effects. His lesson is one in humility and trust. He must humble himself in order to provide for his family and trust his family, at the same time.
Phil is another case altogether. He is well over 60 years old and sees his life as hopeless. His wife is not supportive and makes him leave the house and return at the same times each day to keep up the farce that he is still employed! He ends his life in a miserable way, and I couldn’t help but think about how many people give up on life like that, because they don’t have the support of their family or choose the support of God.
Clearly, this movie is rated “R” for a good reason. There is no reason why any child or teen, for that matter, should be watching this movie, since there is no moral learning they can glean at such an age. No, this is a movie for adults who are in the same place as these 3 men. But even then, there is no one who chooses to trust God after such a devastating blow.
Gene depends on his wealth. Bobby depends on himself and eventually his family. Phil gives into death. I wanted to scream that there is another choice. In that way, I feel the producer did not do a good job of showing a true depiction of what can happen after a layoff—which I felt was the point of the whole movie. This movie had the potential to be truly inspiring, but the most inspiring thing that happens is that Bobby learns to trust his wife. This is a good lesson, but it is not the pinnacle of every man’s life. If it is, then countless men have failed.
I would suggest this movie to those in each family who are the ones who feel the most pressure in their jobs. And only then, if the language and nudity don’t offend. Gene can teach that we need to stand up for the little guy. Bobby can teach that sometimes we need some humbling. Phil can teach us not to take our own way out. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…Strong Romantic worldview with light Christian element due to main character’s turning to faith in a general God… plus marriage is ultimately portrayed in positive light and the movie is generally pro-capitalist… frequent foul language includes at least 45 obscenities…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…If you can tell me what I was supposed to take away from “The Company Men,” I would be greatly appreciative. So far as I can tell the moral of the story is that in the current economic climate you better hope you don’t lose your job, but if you do, you damn well better hope you know someone with millions of dollars who can come along and set up a new company so you can get another one. Other than that, you’re all screwed. …
—Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon
…Although the actors are convincing, and the film well-crafted, “The Company Men” delivers few satisfactory character portraits because the movie isn’t really about characters, it’s about economic units. …“The Company Men” offers no great elation or despair. Its world is what it is. We all live in it. … [3/4]
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…one of the best films of the year, not just because of the incisive script and solid performances by every single cast member, but also because of its perceptive look at how a man is defined by his vocation and how he is affected by the loss of a job. …
—Phil Boatwright, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…a well-performed but curiously unaffecting tale of corporate callousness and career retrenchment. …it tries to do too much and ends up feeling thin…
—Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk
…a tasty script—sharp, funny, touching—and his troupe of pros makes the most of it. …I applaud the note of hope that Wells chooses for his epilogue, a nod to our entrepreneurial spirit, our desire to build and rebuild. … [A-]
—Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
…a somber drama… “The Company Men” takes on its big subject forthrightly, and, in an era of service industries and financial instruments, it celebrates the virtue of making useful things. …
—Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal