Synopsis – Life after college graduation is not exactly going as planned for Will and Jillian who find themselves lost in a sea of increasingly strange jobs. But with help from their family, friends and coworkers they soon discover that the most important (and hilarious) adventures are the ones that we don’t see coming.
My Take – Unemployment (in my opinion) is one of the biggest social plagues to hit mankind. Countless debates, features, seminars, TV series and movies have been made to discuss the cause, effect and solution to this problem and till date it remains a hot topic. So a movie about the issue with a humorous angle with some very likable stars attached to the film does not seem like a bad idea, right? Wrong! Filmed in early 2012, just before getting its final schedule of the release the movie has been in stuck in its doubtful period of release since due to distribution problems according to Anna Kendrick’s statement in an interview. However it seems like Lionsgate Premiere and CBS Films decided to get this film out in order to cash in on the presence of its now stellar cast. Honestly, everything about this film is atrocious except maybe for its performances. The message this movie tries to convey is that it’s hard to find a job, so you have to stop smoking pot and be determined and never give up and do whatever it takes to get a job. Or don’t get a job and be an entrepreneur. The movie throws that one in at the end. A condescending message in the first place because, hey, not everyone has the same circumstances. The story follows Will Davis (Miles Teller), who believes he has turned two summers of unpaid internship at the L.A. Weekly into a full-time job as their new tech writer, until one of the editors (John Cho) tells him differently. After switching between a number of odd jobs, Will lands a great job as a videographer for a firm which produces video resumes and secures interviews for people seeking upper-level management positions. But soon finds out that his creativity is never going to be appreciated by his harsh and demanding company CEO Katherine Dunn (Marcia Gay Harden) while also dealing with sexual advances from his co-worker Tanya (Alison Brie) making the job a little less desirable than he first thought it would be.
A mysteriously omnipresent janitor Fernando (Jorge Garcia) ends up helping Will out, but while Will is trying to navigate the choppy waters of interoffice politics, he also has to deal with the fallout from both his girlfriend Jillian (Anna Kendrick) and his father (Bryan Cranston) losing their respective jobs – and the misadventures of his pot-smoking and video game playing L.A. housemates Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Charlie (Nicholas Braun) and Luke (Brandon T. Jackson) on their jobs. The remainder of the film is a whole lot of nothing, with characters wandering around, but never saying anything too compelling, Jillian becoming a lazy pothead with Will’s best friends, and Will’s father losing his entire identity upon being canned at his workplace. For a brief time, screenwriters Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel‘s screenplay seems like it is going to touch in some commentary about Will’s father’s lack of self-identity outside of his office-duties, potentially leading down a path that highlights ideas and commentary on the millennial workplace and how young people are not letting jobs define them as people. But that part never arrives, and we’re left with watching mostly strong actors aimlessly navigate through pitfalls and trappings of lame comedic conventions. For a screenplay so generic and remarkably dry given all it has to work with, it’s the kind of vehicle that you can tell attracted its young actors and actresses as a means of getting their foot in the door to hopefully bigger and better projects. Justifying what Bryan Cranston and Marcia Gay Harden saw in the material, however, is a bit tougher. But the biggest issue the film has is that overall the movie misses the point it’s trying to make. I don’t know if they were force to go with a Hollywood formula or whatever, but they spend the whole movie telling us what’s wrong with this generation and how broken they are only for their lives to become perfect. Or maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way and it’s actually a very non-Hollywood formula, because a bunch of stuff happen without anyone learning anything in the end. It’s always hard to completely blast films like this because beneath an exterior of crude humor and a meandering narrative lies themes and ideas with underlying truth. The problem is that the film brings such ideas to the surface but fails to capitalize on them, so it feels like they were just mere coincidences and conveniences. This wouldn’t be such an issue if the film wasn’t ostensibly in a hurry to go nowhere, predicating itself off of characters that feel cloyingly artificial and impractical, as well as introducing a plethora of subplots that serve no purpose other than to clutter a story with the overarching idea that life and employment in the modern world is hard, man. The problem is with the writing. The subject is serious. The “millennials issue” is serious, I should know, I’m one of them.
The problem with student loans, with finding a job, following your dreams, living among grown-ups. That is subject enough to pull a two hour drama to fly high in the awards season. But, the writers and director decided to do a comedy, with flat characters, silly plots and some non-sense jokes that are funny every once in a while. With a cast this talented—Alison Brie, Jorge Garcia, Jay Pharoah, Marc Maron, John C. McGinley, Bruce Davison, John Cho, and Greg Germann all turn up in small roles— the film is never painful to endure, but neither does it ever rise above lazy mediocrity. Brie’s character, for example, who works at Will’s firm, exists solely to be gratuitously vulgar, which is mildly funny the first couple of times and increasingly tiresome thereafter. The movie’s idea of comedy regarding its one significant middle-aged character, meanwhile, is having Cranston type “lol” on Twitter in response to a death, because he thinks it stands for “lots of love.” Bryan Cranston and Alison Brie try to have fun in their roles, and they really brighten up the mood, but it isn’t nearly enough. These feeble jokes stand out all the more because the narrative is so patchy: Jackson’s Wall Street guy loses a ton of money for his company, but we hear about it only after the fact, and Will’s covert recording of a video resume for his father never gets paid off with the obligatory scene in which Dad shows it to a prospective employer and is surprised to see his job-winning candor (captured during a moment when he thought he was off-camera). I felt bad for Miles Teller having to deliver these cliché lines like, “Never stop believing.” Anna Kendrick is forced into this shell of a character who gets fired and can’t get back on her feet so she succumbs to the evils of weed and laziness. When Anna Kendrick can’t be adorable for every second she’s on screen, then you know you have a problem. Cameron Richardson does manage to raise the glamour quotient. Honestly, it would probably have been better for almost everyone involved especially for director Dylan Kidd had this film been left on the shelf permanently. On the whole, ‘Get a Job’ is painfully poorly written film that does nothing but embarrass actors who’ve already moved on to bigger and better things.
Director – Dylan Kidd
Rated – R
Run Time – 93 minutes