I have had many, many jobs. Many of which were in offices, some were in restaurants and others were outdoors selling all kinds of “boring” stuff. Here are ten of the best, realistic movies about workplaces and offices:
Waiting… is a 2005 American workplace comedy film starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, and Justin Long. The movie is about a group of young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant who avert boredom and adulthood with their comedic antics. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry, or the fast food industry for that matter, will definitely relate to some of the problems the protagonists face in the movie.
9. 9 to 5
9 to 5 is a 1980 comedic film written by Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins, directed by Higgins, and starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film’s plot revolves around three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with the company’s autocratic and bigoted boss. 9 to 5 is number 74 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Funniest Movies” and is rated “82% fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.
8. Empire Records
The employees of an independent music store try to fight off becoming a large chain, over the course of a fairly eventful day, all the while succumbing to many coming of age moments in a fun film with an excellent soundtrack and similarly excellent cast.
7. You’ve Got Mail
The movie is about a struggling boutique bookseller Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) who does not like Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate Foxbooks chain store that just opened across from her. When the two meet online, however, they begin an Internet romance; unbeknownst of each other’s true identity. Eventually Hank’s character learns that the woman he’s involved with is in fact his business rival. He then struggles to reconcile his real-life dislike for her with the cyber love he’s come to enjoy. “You’ve Got Mail” denotes a voice that reminded AOL users every time they had a new email in their inbox in the 1990s.
6. Glengarry Glen Ross
A 1992 adaptation of the David Mamet play, (the screenplay was adapted by Mamet himself from his 1984 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play of the same name.) An ensemble cast of amazing actors to rival any, the film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen, and much like the play, there’s plenty of potty mouths on show. Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film, and rightly so.
Will Ferrell stars as Ron Burgundy, a sexist anchorman in San Diego in the ‘70s. When feminism arrives into the newsroom in the form of ambitious newswoman Veronica Corningstone (played by Christina Applegate), Ron plays along at first—as long as Veronica stays in her place, covering cat fashion shows, cooking, and other “female” topics. But when Veronica refuses to do that kind of work, it’s more than a battle between two good anchors…it’s war. It’s definitely goes down in my books as one of the top 10 funniest movies of the 2000s.
4. Better Off Dead
This surreal teen comedy makes John Cusack work at Pig Burger, a workplace so bizarre it inspired a Claymation hallucination. To this day I can’t forget the bizarre mix of animation, gallows humor and just truly “alienistic” acting.
3. High Fidelity
An adaptation of an already great novel by Nick Hornby, transported from London to Chicago, this is John Cusack at his best. He plays Rob Gordon, essentially his own boss, owning his own record store, in pursuit of anything even close to happiness in love and work. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Watching High Fidelity, I had the feeling I could walk out of the theatre and meet the same people on the street — and want to, which is an even higher compliment” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
2. Horrible Bosses
Horrible Bosses is another one of my favourite comedies. It’s 2011 comedy film directed by Seth Gordon, written by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, and starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx. The plot follows three friends, played by Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis, who decide to murder their overbearing, abusive bosses, portrayed by Spacey, Aniston and Farrell.
1. Office Space
Mike Judge’s film, based on his Milton cartoon series, perfectly captures the monotony and mundane nature of office work. The plot revolves around a corporate drone, named Peter Gibbons (played by Ron Livingston), who hates his soul-killing job at Initech. While undergoing hypnotherapy, Peter is left stuck between a rock and a hard place when his therapist dies in the middle of their session. He refuses to work overtime, plays games at his desk and unintentionally charms two consultants into making him a manager. When Peter’s friends learn they’re about to be downsized, they hatch a revenge plot against the company….but his co-worker Milton beats him to the punch.