Company Men, The
R
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -3

Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Maria Bello, Craig T. Nelson. Writer/Director: John Wells.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humor, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells (the creator of ER introduces us to the new realities of American life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: After two documentaries about our crumbling economy (I Want Your Money, Inside Job), here comes a dramatic version, complete with enough angst to unnerve even Alan Greenspan. This is one of the best films of the year, not just because of the incisive script and solid performances by every single cast member, but also because of its perceptive look at how a man is defined by his vocation and how he is affected by the loss of a job.

It is a difficult film to sit through due to its portrait of the uncertain job market of today, as well as having to view several families dealing with the loss of the main breadwinnerís income (Are we next?). That said, writer/director John Wells (Motherhood, Savage Grace) perceptively reveals the materialistic hold that has become ďthe American Dream,Ē and without sermonizing, gives us a clear example of what truly is important Ė a personís self-worth based on his integrity and character, and his true riches Ė those that love him.

It would have been nice had there been an example of someone renewing or finding a spiritual awareness. As it ends, the unemployed get back in the game, rediscovering passions within self. Thatís important, but without getting on a spiritual path, how long will it be before man detours down the previous destructive road to me-ism?

Itís an award-worthy film, but look over the content to decide if itís suitable for your viewing.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Around 40 obscenities, mostly an equal number of f-bombs and the s-word; several other minor expletives; nearly every character in the film swears.
Profanity: Around ten profane uses of Godís name or Christís.
Violence: A man kills himself via gas fumes from his car.
Sexual Intercourse: An implied adulterous affair; we see the couple in bed Ė no sexual activity.
Nudity: No nudity, but we do see Maria Bello in her underwear on two separate occasions.
Homosexual Conduct:
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: A great deal of drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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