As you drive off to the 9 to 5 in your company Lexus, consider how secure is your grip on that corner office with a view.
At age 52, Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) is the veteran, successful, and respected advertising manager for a national sports magazine. Life is good. Sure, there are speed bumps: his late-forties wife, Ann (Marg Helgenberger) suddenly announces she's pregnant with their third child, and his eldest daughter, Alex (Scarlett Johansson), is off to live in the Big Apple and attend NYU. But, a second mortgage will take care of all this. Then, the publication is bought by a corporate takeover shark, and Dan's office and position are hijacked by Carter Duryea (Topher Grace), an upstart executive literally half Foreman's age. Though not fired himself, Dan is relegated to being Carter's "wingman", and must watch as other members of his old team are axed. Oh, and did I mention that Carter is seduced by Alex and lands in her bed?
Perhaps Duryea should have been scripted to be, in the eyes of the audience, more callow and unredeemably meaner. At first, it appears that this may be the case. But, after Carter's brand new Porsche sports car is crunched by an SUV as he drives off the dealer's lot, he acquires a conscience, sensitivity, and the viewers' sympathy. Thus, the ending, during which balance at the office is restored, seemed oddly unsatisfying and open-ended.
The best reasons to see IN GOOD COMPANY are Quaid, Johansson, and Grace, all of whose characters are basically decent and incredibly engaging. None of the obvious tensions result in irretrievably rancorous conflict between the three, and so the film becomes primarily a comedy with dramatic overtones rather than a drama with comedic elements.
IN GOOD COMPANY is a 4-star piece of inoffensive fluff perfectly suitable for viewing by the whole family - eminently watchable and enjoyable, but not memorable.