For certain, getting fired, laid-off, or downsized is not an event that any of us will ever find inspirational. This hardly seems to be a topic that Hollywood would tackle. But tackle it they did. Television’s John Wells (he was the Executive Producer of both ER and The West Wing) makes his film debut with The Company Men as the Director and author of the screenplay.
The film is not about guys being shown the door which is only a few steps away from their jobs on the factory floor. No, in this film, the ax falls on a trio of guys way higher up on the food chain. These guys aren’t on an assembly line, or even in upper floor cubicles. No, these are EXECs. They are living the American dream. One day they are climbing into their Armani suits, taking power lunches, or driving to their golf clubs in expensive foreign cars.
The next day, they’ve found out that they’ve been downsized. Their services are no longer required. The film focuses on three guys. The first to go is Ben Affleck’s Bobby Walker. He’s 37, a Sales Manager with a fast track success story on his resume. He’s done a good job but he has become expendable or as they tell him – redundant.
Bobby is married, has kids, a huge mortgage, a Porsche, a golf club membership, and his wife loves him very much. As an employee with 12 years on the books, his severance package includes 12 weeks pay, as well as the use of office facilities at an outplacement agency.
Bobby is a cocky fellow, and even while his incredulity is evident – You’re firing me? it is hard for him to accept his circumstances. He thinks he’ll be back to his high life in only a very short and brief time. As the days pass, then as the weeks pass, Bobby remains in denial. He doesn’t see a need to sell his Porsche, or give up his golf club membership, or acknowledge that eventually, they will have to sell their home and move in with his parents. Read More