Office Space

  • Directors: Mike Judge
  • Producers: Daniel Rappaport, Michael Rotenberg
  • Writers: Mike Judge
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Diedrich Bader, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, John C McGinley

The film is centered on a group of software engineers working at Initech, a company plagued by excessive management. Much of the film’s plot involves everyday annoyances of office work in a cube farm setting evocative of the Dilbert comic strip.

Peter Gibbons is a disgruntled programmer at Initech. Peter spends his days “staring at his desk” instead of reprogramming bank software for the then-expected Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar, who is annoyed by the fact that nobody can pronounce his last name correctly; Michael Bolton, who loathes having the same name as the famous singer, whom he hates; and Milton Waddams, a meek, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself (most notably about his workmates borrowing his favorite red Swingline stapler). All four are repeatedly bullied and harassed by management, especially Initech’s callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh. The staff are further agitated by the arrival of two consultants, informally known as “The Bobs” since they share the same first name, who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing.

Peter is depressed, bored, and pushed around at work. He attends an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his girlfriend, Anne. The obese hypnotherapist, Dr. Swanson, suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter wakes up the next morning and ignores continued calls from Anne (who confesses to cheating and leaves him) and Lumbergh (who was expecting Peter to work over the weekend). Peter announces that he will simply not go to work anymore, instead pursuing his lifelong dream of “doing nothing,” and asks out Joanna, a waitress who shares Peter’s loathing of idiotic management and love of the television program Kung Fu. Joanna works at Chotchkie’s, a restaurant that plays on TGI Friday’s interior decoration and uniform standards (Joanna’s hatred for her occupation eventually culminates in an argument with her boss and her being fired after she gives him the finger).

The last scene of the movie shows that Milton has made his way to a resort in Mexico with the money Peter left in Lumbergh’s office.

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