On The Couch 2011 #25: The Company Men

During the manic movie-watching month that was December, 2010, I saw the preview for The Company Men numerous times at The Angelika and at Brooklyn Heights Cinema and I really wanted to see it. I planned on it being 1 of the final movies I saw in the year of the 52. Unfortunately, it wasn’t released in 2010. I eagerly anticipated its release in 2011 and somehow completely missed that it even came out in the theater. How long this movie play? One day? A full weekend? I swear I didn’t know it had been released until it was already out on DVD.

Needless to say, once I found out it was out, I moved it immediately to the top of my queue. Then it arrived and sat on next to my TV for about a month before I finally got around to watching it. That’s no fault of the movie. How many of you out there have experienced the same “excited to see this movie that ends up doubling as a mail away coaster for weeks” aka The Netflix Syndrome.

The Company Men is very good. This movie deserved to do well in the box office. Kevin Costner steals his scenes as Ben Affleck’s carpenter brother-in-law. Costner’s New England accent comes and goes, but he has some of the best lines in the movie.

While watching The Company Men, I realized that in every Ben Affleck movie, there is a point where he gives us what I call Affleck Face. It’s usually right after everything is going wrong for his character and then it suddenly all goes right. Here, it’s right after he has the interview of his life and meets up with his other out of work friends. They ask how the interview went, and Ben goes into full out Affleck Face. It’s a shit eating grin/smirk that can occupy the whole screen. It’s infectious. It is 100% confidence concentrate. It makes me as the viewer think nothing can go wrong for Affleck from there on out. It makes me as the viewer think that nothing can wrong for me from there on out. In The Boiler Room, Affleck even describes Affleck Face. How does Affleck Face smile? “From ear to ear, baby.”

Affleck Face

The Company Men is a movie for our times. It’s about people who have worked hard their whole lives, only to have the rug pulled out from them and get laid off, just so the company can boost its share price. It’s a movie that a lot of people in this economy can relate to. Maybe that’s why it didn’t do well. Maybe people can relate to this movie a little too well right now. If you’re out of work and can’t find a job, do you really want to escape from your troubles by watching a movie that hammers home how crappy the job market is right now? Maybe people didn’tt want to watch a guy who made $160,000 try to find a job when they made a quarter of that and need a job too.

Whatever your reason for not seeing The Company Men, see it. It’s good. And everyone could use more Affleck Face in their life.