Mike Judge's latest ode to workplace malaise wasn't a huge hit by any means, but is a worthwhile pickup on DVD.
Jason Bateman stars as Joel, the head of Reynold's Extract, a company that produces flavor extracts.
His company is on the verge of being sold by General Mills, but a workplace accident that leaves a trusted employee permanently injured (in a most tender region) threatens to derail that sale, which would allow Joel and his chief lieutenant (J.K. Simmons, as wonderfully dry as ever) to retire.
Enter small-time crook Cindy (Mila Kunis), who uses her disarming beauty to cloud the good senses of those she's swindling, who reads of the accident in the newspaper. Soon she's shacking up with the injured employee (Clifton Collins Jr. in one of several roles this year) and encouraging him to sue the company.
Meanwhile, Joel is having problems on the homefront, both with a dense neighbor (David Koechner), and his wife (Kristen Wiig), who seems uninterested in physical intimacy ("I haven't been laid in over a month," Joel laments to a friend).
When Cindy infiltrates the company posing as a temp, the pent-up Joel quickly becomes smitten.
So the friend (Ben Affleck) schemes with Joel to hire a gigolo (Dustin Milligan) to seduce Joel's wife to assuage his own guilt at cheating.
The gags are signature Judge, and several are good for a hearty chuckle, if not a full-on belly laugh. Much of it is very subtle, including my personal favorite for the whole film, which is a brilliantly understated bit by Bateman reacting to the gigolo's utter stupidity.
The final result isn't a film as memorable or even as funny as his classic "Office Space," but it's certainly worth a rental viewing. DVD extras really hamper the film's buyability, though, with only a short making-of featurette and a few scant trailers. A cast and crew commentary would have been fun given the cast's quality and talent.
Film: 3.5 Yaps Extras: 1 Yap