Office Space [1999]

Ever spend eight hours in a "Productivity Bin"? Ever had worries about layoffs? Ever had the urge to demolish a temperamental printer or fax machine? Ever had to endure a smarmy, condescending boss? Then Office Space should hit pretty close to home for you. Peter (Ron Livingston) spends the day doing stupefyingly dull computer work in a cubicle. He goes home to an apartment sparsely furnished by IKEA and Target, then starts for a maddening commute to work again in the morning. His coworkers in the cube farm are an annoying lot, his boss is a snide, patronizing jerk, and his days are consumed with tedium. In desperation, he turns to career hypnotherapy, but when his hypno-induced relaxation takes hold, there's no shutting it off. Layoffs are in the air at his corporation, and with two coworkers (both of whom are slated for the chute) he devises a scheme to skim funds from company accounts. The scheme soon snowballs, however, throwing the three into a panic until the unexpected happens and saves the day. Director Mike Judge has come up with a spot-on look at work in corporate America circa 1999. With well-drawn characters and situations instantly familiar to the white-collar milieu, he captures the joylessness of many a cube denizen's work life to a T. Jennifer Aniston plays Peter's love interest, a waitress at Chotchkie's, a generic beer-and-burger joint à la Chili's, and Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) has a minor but hilarious turn as Peter's mustached, long-haired, drywall-installin' neighbor. --Jerry Renshaw

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