Reviewed by: Eliot Landrum
|Featuring:||Giovanni Ribisi, Nia Long, Vin Diesel, Ron Rifkin, Jamie Kennedy|
|Producer:||Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd|
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema|
Imagine having the chance to be fabulously rich in an incredibly short amount of time. Imagine being haunted by your father’s success and his continual decry of everything you ever did. Seth (Giovanni Ribisi of “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Mod Squad”, and “Friends” fame), the central character in the “Boiler Room” finds himself in this situation and we, the viewers, are invited to join him in probably the most exciting three months of his life.
Picking up on the excitement of the current trend of successful IPO (Initial Public Offerings) of technology-related stocks, “Boiler Room” chronicles Seth’s brush with fortune and success. More deeply though, “Boiler Room” comes down to Seth’s relationship with his father. Seth’s father, played by Ron Rifkin, has never outwardly approved of anything Seth has accomplished nor provided Seth with a loving fatherly figure. In an effort to prove himself to his father—and excited by the chance to make “millions within the first 3 years of employment”—Seth joins a fast-paced, Generation-X staffed brokerage firm. Amazed at the fortune that these 20-something brokers are amassing, Seth works hard to quickly move up in the ranks of the firm. These young men are concerned with nothing, but getting rich, as one of the character remarks, they simply have more money than they know what to do with. After some amazing “coincidences,” Seth slowly puts together the pieces and realizes that this firm is doing more than a little under hand work.
“Boiler Room” is rated R for really only one reason—language. Hardly one second of Ben Affleck’s on screen time goes by without his utterance of the f-word. It seems as though the screenwriters feel that every sentence needs to be colored by such language. With just a few minor characters in the background doing anything drug related, it hardly constitutes anything worth mentioning. Since these men are obsessed with simply money itself, bed scenes are almost completely absent. “Boiler Room” emphasizes Seth’s good choices to improve his future and his relationship with his father. Seth never quite seems to be interested in the money, but simply the feeling of accomplishment and the hope of respect from his father. Seth continues driving a Volvo station wagon and living in a small apartment while his peers are buying Ferraries, Lamborghinies, and huge houses.
“Boiler Room” shows first hand the excitement of the stock market and the disaster that extreme greed can leave behind. In retrospect, it was refreshing to see Seth’s good choices exemplified and the results of his peers lack of foresight.