: : : Company Man

Story

This long-delayed spoof about the "true story" behind the Bay of Pigs was released shortly after Thirteen Days, another movie about a Cuban (missile) crisis. The latter represented something of a comeback for Kevin Costner (after For Love of the Game) and director Roger Donaldson (after Dante's Peak). For Douglas McGrath, who cowrote Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and directed Emma (1996), Company Man represents something of a comedown. First off, it's just not very funny--and becomes even less so during its 81-minute running time. Secondly, McGrath, who has appeared in several Woody Allen films, is simply not charismatic enough to carry a picture--not this one, at any rate. Then there's the matter of a talented supporting cast in the service of material that feels both underwritten and overedited (possibly against the directors' wishes).

To his credit, McGrath is more of a verbal comedian (in over-enunciated Kevin Spacey mold) than a physical one. Consequently, he (grammar teacher-turned-CIA agent Quimp) and Allen (Quimp's superior) get the best lines. The physical gags mostly fall flat. Sigourney Weaver (Quimp's nagging wife), John Turturro (his overzealous partner), and Alan Cumming (deposed leader Batista) are hamstrung by this emphasis on the physical (and one-dimensional). Ultimately, McGrath (and cowriter-director Peter Askin) attempts to align Company Man with nebbish-in-the-middle satires like Allen's Bananas (1971) rather than serious-minded fare like Thirteen Days. He only proves that more time spent working for the Master (Allen)--rather than vice versa--should be in order. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

Paul GuilfoyleOfficer Hickle
Jeffrey JonesSen. Biggs
Douglas McGrathAlan Quimp
Sigourney WeaverDaisy Quimp
Ryan PhillippePetrov
Heather MatarazzoNora
Kathleen ChalfantMother Quimp
Larry ClarkeFred Quimp
Denis LearyOfficer Fry
John TurturroCrocker Johnson
Alan CummingGen. Batista
Anthony LaPagliaFidel Castro
Tuck MilliganPresident Kennedy
Woody AllenLowther

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: Peter Askin
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 86 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMar 9, 2001
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaAug 28, 2001
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