I have had many jobs. Many of which were in offices, some were in shops, others miscellaneous places. I feel I’m well placed to compile a list of movies based in a workplace. So here’s my top 10. This opening paragraph is always the first thing I write for the lists, before I start expanding on the top ten I have compiled, better hurry up and get it finished or the boss will be coming down on me like a ton of bricks.
If you’ve seen Clerks, it’s that, but set in a restaurant. If you haven’t, watch Clerks, it’s awesome. Waiting is still a good film in its own right; the performance of Justin Long in particular gives the movie some depth. Worth watching also for the game some of the staff play to entertain themselves.
9. 9 to 5
A 1980 American comedy film starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film follows three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with, and then the successful overthrow of, the company’s autocratic, “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss.
8. Empire Records
The employees of an independent music store try to fight off becoming a large chain, over the course of a fairly eventful day, all the while succumbing to many coming of age moments in a fun film with an excellent soundtrack and similarly excellent cast.
This 1976 Sidney Lumet movie is superbly acted satire, tremendously clever and very engaging. A film that is tremendously sharp, it often edges its way onto greatest movie lists, rightly so in my opinion.
6. Glengarry Glen Ross
A 1992 adaptation of the David Mamet play, (the screenplay was adapted by Mamet himself from his 1984 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play of the same name.) An ensemble cast of amazing actors to rival any, the film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen, and much like the play, there’s plenty of potty mouths on show.
One of the funniest films I have ever seen. It gets better with every watch, easily one of the best films to quote and stars a lot of comedic actors on form. Oh, it’s set in a news room, with people working there. Watch it, it’s funny, then watch it again, it’s funnier.
4. Wall Street
Oliver Stone encapsulates 1980s consumerism and yuppiedom magnificently. Michael Douglas in one of his best roles brings Gordon Gekko to life as the heartbeat of the film. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor and thanked Oliver Stone for “casting me in a part that almost nobody thought I could play”
3. High Fidelity
An adaptation of an already great novel by Nick Hornby, transported from London to Chicago, this is John Cusack at his best. He plays Rob Gordon, essentially his own boss, owning his own record store, in pursuit of anything even close to happiness in love and work. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Watching High Fidelity, I had the feeling I could walk out of the theatre and meet the same people on the street — and want to, which is an even higher compliment” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Kevin Smith’s extremely low budget debut still stands up as a fantastic film. The acting may not always be the best, the directing never the most challenging, but the dialogue is some of the greatest ever committed to page, then to screen. So funny, cynical, cerebral and downright brilliant.
1. Office Space
Mike Judge’s film based on his Milton cartoon series perfectly captures the monotony and mundane nature of office work, allowing you to will Ron Livingston all the way to his escape. Gary Cole is marvellous as Bill Lumbergh, this is a very funny film, but be warned, if you don’t like your job, watching this may make you walk in on Monday morning and quit. No bad thing really.