Saturday, March 04, 2006

In Good Company

For a while, fifteen or twenty years ago, I thought Dennis Quaid was going to be a big star. He had the looks and that killer grin, and he could even act a little. But for some reason he never quite made it. The Right Stuff, The Big Easy, Innerspace, the remake of D.O.A., Everybody's All-American. They didn't put him over the top. Then he made Great Balls of Fire, which was pretty awful. Maybe he never recovered from that. Anyway, he still makes an interesting movie now and then, and this is one of them.

Quaid plays Dan Foreman, an ad salesman for a sports magazine, whose company is taken over by a conglomerate. Suddenly Dan finds that he has a new boss half his age. People get fired. The new boss dates Dan's daughter. Dan's wife is pregnant. You're thinking this can't end well. It does, though maybe not convincingly.

Topher Grace, who plays the new boss, Carter Duryea, manages to do very well in a part that requires him to be scared on the inside and confident on the outside (except with Foreman's daughter), and it's on his character that the movie finally turns. Both he and Foreman learn something about themselves and about the need for change, but it's Carter who has farther to go.

Things probably never work out quite so well in real life as they do in movies like this one, but then again maybe they always do. As Jake Barnes says at the end of The Sun Also Rises, "Isn't it pretty to think so."


  1. Jeff Meyerson5:35 PM

    I agree with you, Bill. The movie was a lot better than one would be led to expect by the previews.

    And I saw the REAL Jerry Lee on PBS last night in a 1995 concert with Carl Perkins, Ronnie Hawkins, and 3/5 of The Band.

  2. Count me as another COMPANY fan. Quaid's made a bit of a comeback in the last few years. He's great in FAR FROM HEAVEN and in THE ROOKIE, a baseball movie set in Texas. Good stuff.

  3. I actually saw this at a theater and enjoyed it.

  4. I really liked In Good Company as well as The Rookie. One of my favorite comedies was the Quaid movie Undercover Blues but Stanley Tucci had much to do with that. I've heard Quaid had a big time cocaine habit which probably explains his failure to fulfill his potential.

  5. I liked Undercover Blues, too, and he did a nice bit in Postcards from the Edge. Too bad about that coke habit.

  6. Mary R12:12 PM

    I think it was the three-peat of the DOA remake ('nuff said), EVERYBODY'S ALL-AMERICAN (movie that covered enough of a time span that the actors managed to be unbelievable old for their parts at the beginning and stuck in bad old age make-up at the end - notorious expensive flop for the day), and GREAT BALLS OF FIRE (Winona stole the show).

    To me, he made up for DOA with one of the best modern noir films, FLESH AND BONE. This one also features 21 year old Gwyneth Paltrow as a splendid creature right out of a Jim Thompson novel. Looked up on IMDB to check her age and learned that the murders in the backstory of this film are based on the IN COLD BLOOD crimes. Learn something new every day. Will have to check out COMPANY

  7. Flesh and Bone was great, but probably too bleak to be a hit.