Netflix Film of the Week: Office Space



Nine to Five Gangstas

by Brody Rossiter

It’s more than likely that at this very moment you hate your job. Yes, many of us have prospective career paths, vocations, or professional pipe dreams that linger above our office cubicles, checkouts, and counters, taunting us with every tick of the workplace clock, daring us to pursue those idealistic goals suppressed seemingly ages ago. Unfortunately, unfulfilling soulless jobs, such as ones in retail for major British department stores *cough* and their accompanying hierarchies of mindless miniboss-esque managers are a necessity; they make you realise what you actually want to do with your life; allow you understand your fellow human beings far more deeply; and most importantly they reveal just how dire it feels to be without a job and source of regular income in today’s world.

All those unavoidable trials of life and common feelings of everyday despair are why Mike Judge’s 1999 cult comedy, Office Space, still resonates so strongly – provoking such widespread empathy towards its characters’ shared struggle. Judge, best known for his animated antics – the director was responsible for creating 90’s alternative mainstays, King of The Hill and Beavis and Butt-head – carefully pairs the sour realities of modern working life being rubbish, with palatable slapstick parody that rips and tears at the black heart of the American office workplace  – revealing that you, yes you, are not alone in your struggle to find professional peace, happiness, and the opportunity to raise a middle finger to that one boss you never could stand.

Starring Ron Livingston as Peter, the heroic everyman who rebels against his incredibly mundane white-collar IT job by exploiting an accounting loophole to get rich quick, Office Space has provided the perfect antidote to over a decade’s worth of “cases of the Mondays”. Also featuring Jennifer Aniston in an early love-interest role and Pineapple Express‘ Gary Cole as the boss who launched a thousand internet memes, Bill Lumbergh, the defiant spirit of Office Space’s battle between everyday characters and ‘The Man’ remains refreshing, full of life, and most importantly relevant today. Office space is a clever and quirky modern workplace fantasy, laced with gangsta rap and printer based GBH that every disgruntled employee should experience. We all know work sucks, but timeless comedies that explain why most certainly do not.

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