Office Space Reviews
"Office Space" received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "Mike Judge lampoons the office grind with its inspired mix of sharp dialogue and witty one-liners." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and wrote that Judge "treats his characters a little like cartoon creatures. That works. Nuances of behavior are not necessary, because in the cubicle world every personality trait is magnified, and the captives stagger forth like grotesques". In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle writes, "Livingston is nicely cast as Peter, a young guy whose imagination and capacity for happiness are the very things making him miserable." In USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna wrote, "If you've ever had a job, you'll be amused by this paean to peons." Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C" rating and criticized it for feeling "cramped and underimagined". In his review for the Globe and Mail, Rick Groen wrote, "Perhaps his TV background makes him unaccustomed to the demands of a feature-length script (the ending seems almost panicky in its abruptness), or maybe he just succumbs to the lure of the easy yuk...what began as discomfiting satire soon devolves into silly farce." In his review in The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote, "It has the loose-jointed feel of a bunch of sketches packed together into a narrative that doesn't gather much momentum." In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named Office Space one of "The 100 best films from 1983 to 2008", ranking it at #73.
"Office Space" is a comedy with a neat storyline within the genre. The satirical and yet realistic presentation of the American office life serves us as well a social political comment on the negative effects of the boring white collar work environment and the urge for escapism and freedom becomes the centre of the story. It also puts the finger on how many people are often treated within companies of today. I reckon anybody who has had an office job can relate to that. Ron Livingston is great as Peter and Jennifer Aniston is quite nice as Joanna. Gotta love Gary Cole as Bill Lumbergh and Stephen Root as Milton Waddams. Some scenes are truly classic and you will remember them forever.
Trivia: - Milton was actually based on an old co-worker that Mike Judge worked with during his days as an engineer. One day, Judge went to the man and asked him how he was doing, and the worker began talking about how he was going to quit his job because he was forced to move his desk around too many times.
- After poor box-office performance, the movie gained cult status on video. Mike Judge has said more people talk to him about this movie than any project he has ever worked on. Judge was offered a chance to make a sequel, "Office Space 2: Still Renting", but said that he had been through enough anguish over the first one, that he didn't want to put himself through the experience again.
- One of the promotions for this film invited people in certain cities to watch and participate in the bashing of office equipment. There was also an Internet campaign that linked to a website where people could expose their bad bosses.
- Office Space has become a cult classic, selling well on home video and DVD. As of 2003, it had sold 2.6 million copies on VHS and DVD. In the same year, it was in the top 20 best-selling Fox DVDs along with There's Something About Mary. As of 2006, it had sold over six million DVDs in the United States alone.
I?m not sure that Office Space is quite a laugh-out-loud comedy, though. It has some situational comedy that certainly made me chuckle, but there were few moments that went beyond that. The best parts are the scenes right after Ron Livingston is hypnotized. That?s where he starts doing things many other people only dream about. The interview where he is brutally honest was downright cathartic for me to experience vicariously through him. The other comedy treat is literally any line from Stephen Root as the mild-mannered Milton. His struggle with the stapler and his ever-moving desk is great.
I?m not sure all the minor characters were justified in Office Space. The nosy neighbor was only good for one joke, and frankly it wasn?t all that funny. But even more questionable was the relationship with Jennifer Aniston. Was there any purpose to that subplot other than to point out people can hate their job no matter what it may be? They didn?t have any chemistry, and being in a relationship didn?t change anything for Livingston?s character. As you can see, I wasn?t totally enamored with Office Space, it?s not my favorite comedy. But I connected with the story, and that correlation to my day-to-day reality made it work much better this time.