Dan Foreman is headed for a shakeup. He is demoted from head of ad sales for a major magazine when the company he works for is acquired in a corporate takeover. His new boss, Carter Duryea, is half his age--a business school prodigy who preaches corporate synergy. While Dan develops clients through handshake deals and relationships, Carter cross-promotes the magazine with the cell phone division and Krispity Krunch, an indeterminate snack food under the same corporate umbrella. Both men are going through turmoil at home. Dan has two daughters, Alex, age 18, and Jana, age 16, and is shocked when his wife tells him she\'s pregnant with a new child. Carter, in the meanwhile, is dumped by his wife of seven months just as he gets his promotion. Dan and Carter\'s uneasy friendship is thrown into jeopardy when Carter falls for, and begins an affair with, Dan\'s daughter Alex.
 

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Skates across the surface of too many issues.

Paul Weitz is best known as one half of the creative team behind the hugely popular American Pie gross out movies and About A Boy (2002). In Good Company is Weitz\'s first effort going solo without his filmmaking brother Chris. Before sitting down at his laptop to bang out the script, a question Weitz must have asked himself was, given the amount of time we spend at work why aren\'t there more films about it? Taking his inspiration from Billy Wilders\' workplace classic The Apartment (1960), he attempts to redress the imbalance with In Good Company.

Set inside an advertising agency, Weitz pits newbie Topher Grace (That 70s Show) against acting veteran Dennis Quaid (The Big Easy) in a corporate tug-of-war. At 51 Dan (Quaid) is a veteran middle management salary man who prides himself on a rock solid set of personal ethics. When his company starts making financial cutbacks Dan the Man is forced to make many of his fellow workers redundant. It\'s a tough job but somebody\'s got to do it?, he rationalises. Just to add insult to injury though, enter 20-something Carter Duryea (Grace), a young upstart who\'s been handpicked to retrieve the company\'s losses and take over Dan\'s position. Their relationship starts out rocky, but is further exacerbated when Carter adopts Dan\'s family as his own, then starts to date his daughter (Scarlett Johansson) who\'s about to start college.

Weitz tries very hard with In Good Company to combine the \'rom com\' with the workplace comedy. It touches on love and romance, 21st century consumerism and corporate takeovers, masculine identity and family matters, and parent-child conflict. Whew - a lot of balls to juggle in the air at once. But In Good Company could almost be called About A Boy given much of the film is handed over to Grace\'s character as he wrestles with personal ethics, romance and whether or not he really wants to be a \'master of the universe\' at the expense of others. (Carter is painted as a kind of a tragic, hollow figure, desperately trying to find his place in the world through shiny gadgets). While in theory this sounds like pretty good fodder to fuel a movie, especially with Carter butted up against Dan who knows only too well his place in the order of things, in reality his journey is fairly predictable. Dan is a fella facing his worst nightmare and only just coping. His is the more compelling story of the two and the one I wanted to see. Instead it was shorthanded and the movie somewhat short-changed.

Far From Heaven
reminded us all just how untapped Quaid has been as an actor and the film sparkles when he\'s front and centre, playing Dan, the very pissed off man. While it has heart and some lovely moments, In Good Company skates across the surface of too many issues. So it ends up being too light on instead of right on. A shame but still an amiable watch.

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PG
1 hour 46 min