Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Company Men - 3 stars

Ben Affleck stars as a very successful employee of a giant shipping company. He makes $120,000 a year, lives in a giant house with is wife and 2 kids, drives a porsche, has a country club membership, all that stuff. As the economy starts to tank, he is laid off. The movie examins how he and the other employees cope and try to move on with their lives.

The movie also stars Chris Cooper as a guy who can't imagine his life without the job. He has worked there his entire life and is nearing 60 years old. When he is laid off, he finds just how few companies are interested in hiring an old former executive when they could hire a young guy just out of college for a lot less money.

Tommy Lee Jones and Craig T. Nelson are the guys who founded the company, and they have several arguments about how to keep the company afloat. Nelson thinks the best way to appease the stockholders is to cut more jobs. Jones points out that if Nelson didn't take such a huge salary, they could afford to keep some workers.

The movie is a pretty good reflection of what's wrong with corporate America. At one time, the corporation made ships. Now the warehouses are closed and their profits are from stock trades. The CEO is living in a mansion and making something like 1,000 times what an average employee is making.

The only big problem I had with the movie is that Affleck is the lowest paid employee we see, and he is making 6 figures. When people are struggling to get by on less than $25,000 a year, it's hard to feel bad for a guy like Affleck's character.

No comments: