Looking Back – Office Space (1999)
Looking back is a feature where we look at cult and classic films of the past, this week Scott looks at Office Space
Office Space from 1999 is a strange little film. Not in the fact that it has a weird narrative, plot and fantastical storyline. It is one of those films that you either have seen and love or have not even heard of. If I am honest I was on the latter half of that sentence for a long time. It wasn’t until last year that I finally saw this cult classic and now oft find myself quoting lines from the film with either a ‘MMMMkay’ or a ‘I could always burn down the building’. Upon first viewing I finally GOT it, and now after many watches it is firmly in my top 10 of all time.
What urged me to see it?
Well last year a good friend of mine Toby from blahblahblahgay bought me the Film Snobs Dictionary, and whilst reading this insightful and funny book, I stumbled over the letter O…
O is for Office Space
Mildly diverting 1999 comedy about cubicle life in corporate America, puzzlingly accorded classic status in FILM SNOB circles, where ritual mass viewings are common. The sole live action feature of Beavis and Butthead creator, Mike Judge, Office Space is representative of a whole strain of underperforming studio films that only FILM SNOBS “got”, Such as John Boorman’s Excalibur and the Keanu-Swayze surf fest Point Break.
A comedy that only film snobs “got”? A comedy that you are allowed to like in the élite film snob circles? I had to see what the fuss was about. I was pleasantly surprised. I got it too…. hold on does that make me a film snob?
From the opening sequence where the main protagonist Peter is stuck in a traffic jam switching lanes to get through, but inevitably ends up going slower than he would have been if he stayed put, to the ultimate conclusion I found that OFFICE SPACE was a brilliantly observed film, with some hilarious set pieces.
The story revolves around Peter Gibbons and his daily work life at Initech. Everyday Peter spends there happens to be the worst day of his life, he is in a downward spiral; he hates his job and his girlfriend is cheating on him. Peter decides to go to an occupational hypnotist and get’s put into a trance to relieve him of his stress, with a hilarious outcome. Peter is now free, he sleeps through an entire day and misses his over time, but he doesn’t care…
All of the characters within the film are brilliant – from Samir and Michael Bolton (no relation to the singer), who work hard but are just the pond scum it consultants; to the mumbling Milton who is always put upon by the managers and has an unhealthy obsession with a swingline stapler.
OFFICE SPACE brings to the forefront the mundane and anal routine of office life, all white-collar workers and office rats will be laughing and nodding at every minute detail. These guys live the dream; right down to the iconic scene where the main trio take out their frustrations on a poorly working office printer.
If you haven’t seen this, or heard of it… do it NOW!!!
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer. Check out his home set up HERE
Have you seen this film? Do you agree with its CULT status? Comment below…