In the Company of Men (1997)

In the Company of Men
Directed by Neil LaBute
(number 493)

Two businessmen, totally career oriented, cocky and misogynistic men make an arrangement to both date the same woman in their office and then once she’s good and hooked on both of them they’ll break her heart and therefore ruin her entire life.

Chad, played by Aaron Eckhart is a swaggering embodiment of male privilege, concerned entirely with how much he can get away with. How far he can push without being pushed back, and he’s charming and charismatic with it. I think this is a sign of a true actor, he’s a total bastard but I cared about him anyway.

Howard, his co-conspirator, is the follower, a little unsure and a little concerned about what they’re doing. Do not mistake these things for him being a nice guy though… well. Unless you’re talking ‘nice guy’ like these nice guys.

This is a movie that exposes horrible attitudes, the satire so extreme that you start second guessing what’s going on… is Chad really falling in love with her after all? So many movies have told that story before that I found myself hoping for it, but it’s not that movie. It’s the other one, where you’re not sure if maybe this is just dramatised true life stories maybe.. people being horrible to each other and not realising just how horrible they’re being.

It’s fantastically well made, but not very much fun. I enjoyed it, to a degree, but I don’t know how keen I’d be to watch it again.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah. I mean, Aaron Eckhart, and Christine, their target, her character is portrayed almost entirely through the lens of the males, but she was amazing. Perfectly acted by Stacy Edwards. I just realised she was in the Bling Ring, no wonder she looked familiar to me.

Bechdel test: No…in this movie women are talked about and talked to, but they aren’t people in their own rights and I think it’s entirely intentional.

Best line: “What kind of feminist bullshit is this?”
“Listen Listen Listen!”
“How does it feel, right now?”

State of Mind: Uuuuurrrrggghhh people aren’t really this awful are they? Of course they are.


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