“Excuse me. I believe you have my stapler.”
In 1999 a group of disenchanted cubicle dwellers, led by apathetic office drone Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) stood up against the powers of authority to bring down a company and take a little piece for themselves.
Why We Love It
Mike Judge, creator of such television classics as Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill, proved his worth with this clever satire about white collar slavery and the standardization of office routines.
Peter is a man whose soul has been trampled on. He doesn’t ask for much – his dream is simply to do nothing. His only motivation for being productive at all is so that his smarmy boss won’t hassle him and ask him to go ahead and come in on the weekend. He suspects his girlfriend is cheating on him, and every day of his life is getting progressively worse. As he succinctly puts it “Since I started working, every single day has been worse than the day before, so that every day you see me is the worst day of my life.”
But thanks to a powerful and unfinished session of hypnotherapy, Peter finds himself in a peculiar and enviable situation. Through his newfound state of hypnotic happiness he makes himself more valuable to the company while shirking all responsibility – basically he lives the dream. He liberates himself from his situation and manages to rope his colleagues into a criminal conspiracy at the same time. Essentially, Peter Gibbons is the alienated millennium man’s hero.
Office Space takes the ennui of our mundane and standardized lives and makes it entertaining. Peter is every person who’s ever been held captive in a cubicle or worked in a mind-numbing, soul-destroying job – which is pretty much all of us – but he does something we can never do (or probably shouldn’t do…) – he gets revenge.
Moment We Fell in Love
There are a lot of loveable scenes in this movie, but the moment it truly happened has gotta be when Peter, Samir and Michael Bolton (tee hee) beat the hell out of the printer.
Both because they look like such idiots, and because it’s such a kick-ass way to get out a little office-inspired aggression. If you even scan casually through YouTube, you’ll find a plethora of tributes and parodies (mine will be going up imminently).
If you’ve ever worked as a cubicle jockey, or had any job that slowly sucked your soul out through your pores, then you’re probably familiar with this infinitely quotable tale of modern alienation. For it is more than just a movie, more than just a satire of office life – it is an anthem for the sad saps stuck in dead end jobs the world over.
It is a cry of rage against the spirit crushing defeat of working for complete idiots. Not just for cubicle dwellers, but for those of us stuck in retail, the service industry – you name it. It’s a tribute to anyone who’s ever given a hundred percent to their job only to be escorted out by security at the first hint of a few lost dollars.
It is Office Space. And I love it.
(By the way, did you ever notice that except for a few scenes full of bloody violence it’s almost exactly the same movie as Fight Club? Discuss…)