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In Good Company Movie Review

Published January 16, 2005 in MOVIE REVIEW
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Universal Pictures
In Good Company proves that Topher Grace is an amazing film actor.
I was able to visit a very busy movie theatre tonight to check out In Good Company, a film that stars Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, and Marg Helgenberger. Now, there is such thing as a 'Quaid Curse,' as most of the latest films that Quaid has starred in were not very good [Wyatt Earp for example]. However, I am glad to say that In Good Company is just a damn good film.

Watching Good Company

In Good Company is just a solid film about jobs, friendship, love, life, and family. We encounter two stories-- one of a man [Dennis Quaid as Dan Foreman] who has a family with a wife, two daughters, and a successful career as the head of ad sales for a popular sporting magazine. The other story involves a young man [Topher Grace as Carter Duryea] who is just starting out on life and a career. Obviously, somewhere along the line both character's paths cross with profound consequences for each; an event that occurs quite early in the film.

Dan Foreman, who recently sat comfortably as the head of ad sales for a major magazine, gets the surprise of his life when he finds out that he has been demoted soon after the magazine gets acquired in a corporate take over. The replacement, Carter Duryea, is exactly half Dan's age with a strong sense for business; but no sense for ad sales. Not only is their age difference significant, but each individual has their own idea on how ad sales should occur. Dan, the 'dinosaur,' is used to dealing with clients directly with a solid hand shake. Carter, on the other hand, understands the business of large corporations and the advantages of vertical integration. Therefore, Carter is sent in to create advertising networks among other companies owned by the same corporation. Obviously, both the individuals conflict, causing Dan to not like Carter too much.

However, even though each of these men have vast differences, both command the respect of their colleagues and have the warmest of hearts. Dan and Carter both have problems on the home front as well. Dan faces a family in need as his wife becomes pregnant and his daughter requires college funds to attend NYU. Carter faces a divorce settlement with a wife of only seven months. While the men do share this similarity, the home front also represents the largest contrast of these two characters. Dan's life revolves around family while Carter's life revolves around work [he has no family]. Because of this, Dan is envious of Carter's job position [which was formerly his], and Carter is envious of the life that Dan lives.

Due to this envy, the two men have an un-easy relationship at best. What can make matters worst? Well, throw in the fact that Dan has a beautiful eighteen-year-old daughter, Alex [Scarlett Johansson]. After some time, and a random coincidence, Carter falls for Alex and proceeds to have a secret affair with her. Dan does not approve.

It Should be Great Company

I got to say, this film is surprisingly good. All the characters, including the smaller ones, seem to shine when they are on the screen. You will even find yourself caring for characters that are tiny, with little to no lines during the entire running of In Good Company. Some of the real shine comes from the two men who we follow during the course of the film, Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace. While I'm sure most of you know about Dennis Quaid, I believe there are probably quite a few of you [especially the older readers] that have never seen Topher Grace before.

In Good Company offers Quaid a chance to prove that he is still one of the top actors out there... he nails it.
Topher Grace is/was the star of Fox's That 70's Show. While his film portfolio is short, it does list films such as Mona Lisa Smile and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. To be honest, I was such a fan of That 70's Show that I found it hard to see Topher Grace as anybody else but the stoner kid from the 70's. However, In Good Company proves that Grace is an amazing actor who is ready to hit the 'A' list in the upcoming years. But don't be fooled, there were many other profound performances as well; making it nearly impossible for one character to steal the show.

Dennis Quaid shows that he can still draw tears from audiences by successfully playing an overly protective father due to his infatuated love for his family. Quaid is not just good, he is terrific in In Good Company. You really feel the love between Quaid, Johansson, and Helgenberger. All the actors just seem so natural, causing the story to seem all too real.

You will also find tons of comedy during the running of In Good Company. Every character has his/her moment to make you laugh, and almost none of the humor falls flat. Another great aspect is that this isn't corny humor either. The film represents the type of humor you'd expect when you hang out with your own family. An example is when Dan Foreman jumps on the phone when he hears that his youngest daughter is speaking to her 'boyfriend.' What Dan says on the phone is so hilarious and real, that I have to let you see it for yourself.

Final Judgment: The movie title is perfect for this film. Through out the entire viewing you do feel that you are within good company. Also, this is probably one of the least predictable movies of the year, with an ending that I call 'happily depressing.' Each character, even the smallest of them, is perfectly polished with personality and a story. Go grab your family and see In Good Company.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of Universal Pictures

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