Chad, furious about the way women are ruining his man's world, enlists his wishy-washy co-worker in a callous plan to date then dump a vulnerable secretary. — Genre: Feature Film-Comedy — Rating: R — Release Date: 17-MAR-1998... more »
This one was just not my cuppa tea. The acting was excellent and the storyline was well executed too. Technically, it was a well-made movie from just about all angles: acting, cinematography, music, wardrobe, etc. But the story left me feeling empty, cynical and just not real happy at all.
Not a real feel-good movie. Not one of the three main characters turned out to be likable at all. Just too, too much of the dregs of humanity and the worst of human nature here. If you enjoy sadistic mind games, you'll love this flick! Not for me though.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Saga of Chad
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 10/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Why is Chad so frightening? Because Society is full of Chads. Around every corner there is some version of Chad: a cruel, unscrupulous, good-looking, highly intelligent person along his lines, who will not only NOT get what's coming to him, but through guile, hypocrisy and ruthlessness rise and devour. In addition, elements of Chad exist in almost everyone, male or female, which if given a chance to operate without personal cost, will always tend to assert themselves to RULE and EXPLOIT the weak. In a Hollywood movie Chad would've ended up ruined for his evil deeds while the Hollywood Chads behind the scenes collected a fat profit laughing their heads off at the naivete of the public. In LaButte's Indie film Chad gets it all, beautiful woman, position and sadistic kicks without any personal cost whatever. "In the Company of Men" is not a 'great' film by any means, but an especially important one nevertheless. LaButte and Eckhart's fully realized `white collar' villain commemorates, for easier identification, the readily sensed but rather vague `evil techniques' of countless Chad-type predators throughout society. Future victims of Chads now possess a secret weapon; and not only that, the Chadlike elements present within every person will, for anyone who has seen this film, find it harder to assert themselves without complex and ever more evasive rationalizations."
Not for everyone...
L. Quido | Tampa, FL United States | 03/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a reason that "In the Company of Men", a low budget independent film, the first from writer-director Neil Labute, won an award at the Sundance Film Festival. The reason is not that it is an enjoyable film, but rather that LaBute demonstrates what so few filmmakers are willing to achieve: that film can be art, and not everybody is supposed to understand or like what you are saying.LaBute captures the self-absorption and resulting cruelty that EVERY alpha male raised in a fraternal corporate environment ever subscribed to - all roled into the unforgettable character of Chad. Using his persuasive skills to get his boss, Howard (Matt Malloy) to go along in this exercise of cruelty, Chad plays the game to the max. Along the way the audience gets the feel for the impersonable, alien corporate environment and good old boy atmosphere so recognizable in the U.S. Chad is portrayed instinctively by young actor Aaron Eckhart, who has traveled with LaBute through this and all subsequent films, sometimes in minor character roles. Eckhart and LaBute obviously have their pacing and teamwork together - Eckhart portrays Chad effortlessly!LaBute should be congratulated for not allowing "the happy ending", instead twisting his conclusion to find yet another villainous side of Chad.The DVD is dark, with few special features, and since almost all of the film takes place indoors (an early LaBute signature), the darkness of the tale is heightened by the appearance of the film. Striking out as a writer/director with a "different voice" (ala John Sayles) LaBute made his mark with "In the Company of Men" - and it is a fascinating study for serious film watchers."
L. Quido | 04/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Apparently, this film got under a lot of people's skin. Perhaps this film, written and directed by Neil LaBute, about two corporate cowboys who romantically set up a young deaf woman just to cruelly reject her hits too close to home. It's about the way our drives for power and influence, stymied and constrained within institutional boundaries, become corrupted and petty. In a world where there are no values except success and power is its own end, LaBute seems to be saying, friendship and love turn into manipulative tools. And what's truly ghastly about the film (and what makes it such a success), is that the emotional destruction of the woman is a kind of achievement when you see the world in those terms. The denouement is one of the most effective in years simply for the amount of callousness and pain mixed into it. Eckhardt gives a fantastic performance - he's so absolutely repellent, so shallow and mercenary, that you can't look away from him. Stacy Edwards is also very affecting as the deaf woman the two men set up - her sympathetic portrayal belies the claim that the film is misogynistic. LaBute is a bit too one-dimensional in his intentions - these monsters have no dimensions between their pleasure in their own manipulative abilties although Eckhardt's friend does occaissonally submerge himself in remorse. Yet, few films have so successfully penetrated into the psychology of corporate life and its frustrations. "In the Company of Men" is a dark comedy about one man passing his poisioned chalice on to those around him and I wonder if many of this film's detractors found the cup a bit too bitter"
Frightening and disturbing
Carol Toscano | New York City | 01/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is so frightening because one can imagine these things actually happening. I needed to watch the film twice before I got it all. Basically, two corporate men decide to date a wallflower for six weeks and then dump her, breaking her heart in the most cruel way, essentially getting revenge on all of womankind for past wrongs. In this case, the wallflower is a deaf girl who is a typist in a very bleak corporate office the two men are sent to work in for six weeks. This film is so cleverly written that there were moments (the first time I watched it) when I felt that Chad (the handsome one) was actually falling for this poor girl but at the end, and then on the second viewing, I realized that he was just planting the idea that he might really have feelings for this girl in his co-worker's mind in order to manipulate him (that would be Howard - the less handsome one). Making Howard believe that he might really have feelings for this deaf woman only made her more desirable (to Howard) - male competition in play. I also felt that he was trying to undermine Howard's authority as his boss because of his jealousy - needing to sabotage that aspect as well. Though some elements of the film are cliche (the girl falls for the good-looking one of course, then the nerdy one has a breakdown), these things, again, actually happen in real life (I know a lot of women who would choose a macho handsome guy over a sensitive nerdy guy just on looks alone - the same as a man picking a beautiful woman with a so-so personality over an average-looking woman who is really smart). Though most viewers feel really bad for this woman, she actually played her own game by dating both men simultaneously even after telling Chad that she loved him. She reasons that after not dating for a long time, she liked the attention - it made her feel attractive again. Some people feel bad for Howard but really, he wasn't in love with this girl either though he may have thought so - it was just beating Chad (and being on the rebound) that drove his competitive side to move forward so aggressively. I mean, after dating her for a few weeks, he gives her a used engagement ring and then freaks out telling her that it was all a game when she rejects him. If he really loved and wanted her, he would have tried to protect her from the truth (instead, he uses it as a weapon against her almost as if he is punishing her for the way his former fiance treated him. It seemed to me that he was subconsciouly getting revenge on his former fiance through this woman - that she had in essence become the fiance that rejected him and so the game actually did what it set out to do). Theories like "what goes around comes around" don't apply here and the most disturbing thing about this movie is the reality that what goes around doesn't always come around especially in Chad's case - that he lies, plots, schemes and destroys with no repercussions. In the end, he goes home to his beautiful apartment, his beautiful girlfriend, his great job and everything is as it ever was. And sadly, that's real life."
No no no no no no...
the snake | NYC | 11/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is not just about the whole idea of the 'alpha male' that Chad emulates or misogyny. It is not a representation of the cutthroatness of the workplace. Granted, these are all surface themes. Underneath that surface, however, one can start to recognize the major themes of the film: evil, appearance vs. reality, and others. These, however, are the main ones that I will discuss. I first saw this movie in my English class, as my teacher showed to us as a parallel to Shakespeare's Othello (not that the movie was spawned of the play, but that the stories are remarkably similar). Throughout the movie, it becomes more and more apparent how Chad is the second coming of Iago: he lacks power, so he uses others with less social status (Othello, the moor, and here, Christine, the deaf girl), employing a fool (Roderigo/Howard) whom he tricks into doing his dirty work, then using the results of the plot to his own advantage. The only difference I see is that, while Iago is apprehended and most likely punished after the end of Othello, Chad comes away from the plot entirely unscathed. Both are cruel, unfeeling men who display a false facade in order to gain the trust of others, and then abuse that trust for their own benefits. So, in essence, the movie is more of an exploration into the nature of evil: how it attracts the weak, tramples the helpless, and benefits those with the gall to use or even BE it. An excellent movie.One unforgettable quote:
"I don't trust anything that bleeds for a week and doesn't die." - ChadSorry, that just had me rolling on the floor in laughter..."