Film review: In Good Company

It’s so subtle, so sophisticated and the only character I can truly relate to is Carter Duryea the lead. It felt timely to write this review because I am 26 and Carter is 26. I have seen this film many times over the years as I had bought the film when I was a teenager in April 2006.

My first impression of the film watching it as a sixteen year old wasn’t a positive one I was almost bored by it but that is simply because the humour and dynamics are too sophisticated for mere teens it’s a grown-up film and you need to mature a lot to appreciate this film. So it took a lot of time for me to fully appreciate it but I was immediately drawn to the film and would watch it over and over again. As a teen watching it I found it so exciting that Alex gets to date Carter and their serendipitous run-in at the cafe is enjoyable.

 

As a teenager I was obsessed with this one film still of Scarlett johansson outside the (real) Cafe Reggio on 119 MacDougal Street and West 3rd Street, Manhattan. I loved the leisurely vibe and her fashion sense. The term #LIFEGOALS didn’t exist back in ’06 but if it had this photo was it for me. I even wore a blazer and hoodie constantly.

In the scene Alex is reading “Early Short Stories” by Anton Chekhov.

Before I used to, in a way, look up to Carter and thought he was amazing. Now I’m 26 and I completely relate to him because he has this success yet he has nobody, the people at work dislike him and he’s dating a teenager. There’s a lot of insecurity around him and his collegiate girlfriend because she’s dating her father’s boss. So just when Carter is trying to find a chance at happiness it’s really shot down, happiness is never truly tangible for him in the film.

Alex: “It’s strange you know, it seems like your sort of bummed out about your career but you’re so successful.”
Carter: “My career is pretty much what I have in my life that and a dented Porsche.”

In the chance encounter at Cafe Reggio there’s a real sense of disappointment and mild sorrow in Carter. He doesn’t seem as happy as he ought to be given that he’s young, handsome and successful. Alex cannot, as perhaps the audience, understand why he seems somewhat dissatisfied toward his accomplishments. A decade later I understand why Topher Grace portrays Carter in such a mild state of unease and hopelessness (very subtlety.) The truth is when you’re a Carter Duryea type you’re not going to be liked, all you have is your career; with great skill and talent come disappointments as nobody else is as on the ball.

Initially until I actually turned 26 the fact that he was secretly dating his colleague’s 18 year old daughter didn’t feel inappropriate but now I see that it is. That’s partly because I was seeing myself as the 18 year old Alex in the film so naturally felt it would be wonderful to date someone like a Carter Duryea. He comes in his Porsche to collect you from your dorm room and gives you a Diamond Chopard necklace for no reason. (Gotta say guys like him don’t really exist-sadly!)

Previously in my teens I didn’t immediately like Carter yet I was completely gravitated by this character because he represents so much truth about what life is like on the other side. I didn’t immediately take to Duryea not because of his traits or actions I think it’s to do with how the character is handled. There just wasn’t enough expression in Grace’s face, because there are plenty of reasons why the audience should root for Carter but perhaps they don’t. Some actors are auditory and other actors are visual and it’s the latter that pull you in deeper. What I mean by that is auditory people make less facial expressions. Why? Because they’re focused on dialogue, they’re focused on reply, tone of voice or coming in with their line at the right time. Whereas a visual actor (think the entire Friends TV show cast) are incredibly expressive and the emotion on their face is easy to read whereas as I did not see this in Topher. Though his entire performance is strong and perfectly captures the nuanced message that success is not all it seems and the scary truth as Life Coach Tony Robbins would put it: “Success Without Fulfillment Is the Ultimate Failure.” 

Films like this just aren’t made anymore. What makes the film so satisfying is that there are no major betrayals between characters no maliciousness and nothing too salacious which makes it so refreshing. Notably the Paul Weitz also directed About a Boy and was an executive producer of American Pie 2. A film similar to this may be The Company Men starring Ben Affleck yet it lacks the sweetness of In Good Company as it’s very real and poignant. In Good Company portrays corporate culture with a wholesome dash that continues to make it a pleasure to watch as the years go by.

 


 

IMDB profiles:

Topher Grace / @TopherGrace
Dennis Quaid
Scarlett Johansson 

www.InGoodCompanyMovie.com
Buy USA
Buy UK

 

 

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“Elixir Pursuits” documentary series following creative careers: starring Hereford Author and Poet Catherine Vaughan

Elixir Pursuits is a new documentary series created by Hooty a Vintage clothes shop owner where she films and interviews local talents in Herefordshire who are pursuing their dreams. The aim of her series is to uncover the elixir found in these creative careers and share guidance for creative and entrepreneurial souls.

This episode features me in depth behind and behind the scenes of the Poetry Slam I organized, hosted and performed in. There is an interview of me before the show and after.

Here’s some background into the series and you can hear more about Hooty watch the video on Youtube.

Show your support for our Indie Docu-maker and Store owner by visiting her shop and liking her Facebook Page.

Catherine Vaughan – Hereford’s Millenial Poet and Author

💝 My first ever review about my 🎤 🔊 1st Solo Poetry Performance 🔊 🎤 on 03.03.16 @ De Koffie Pot Cafe.
Written by the M Cuadra from the fantastic culture and events website: HerefordCityCentric.com a wonderful website about places to eat/visit/and do on in my Hometown Hereford. Visit their website today! And who knows maybe it will inspire you to visit the quaint city of Hereford located in England near the Welsh borders. 💝

Hereford City Centric Retail & Culture Blog

Catherine Vaughan Book & Poetry Reading at De Koffie Pot March 3, 2016

Arriving slightly late to the reading by Catherine Vaughan,  I can’t help but feel anxious that I missed out on of some of this lady poets carefully crafted outpouring, and the whimsical and energetic approach in which she passionately read through her material.

I arrived to an aptly poetic atmosphere; the room was beautifully lit with candles illuminating the oak beams on the ceiling, and the tables almost completely packed with humans keenly hanging on to every word. Catherine had reeled them in, I would be next. De Koffie Potholds many events in this room on the first floor of the converted stables nestled alongside the River Wye. A charming setting difficult to parallel in the city unless you boast any sort of river front property.

Reading from her poetry book ‘The Quarter Life Crisis Poet: A Collection of…

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Theatre Review: Anthony & Cleoptra

ticket

In the summer of 2015 I visited the locals Arts Centre “The Courtyard” to watch a live screening from The Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, London of Anthony & Cleopatra. It was 3 hours of dramatic delight, Clive Wood starred as Anthony and Eve Best as his Cleopatra. There’s nothing more to say than it is superb and I look forward to watching many more future screenings from the Globe at The Courtyard.

 

Film Review: “Focus” starring Will Smith.

focus

Will Smith is seasoned con-man Nicky Spurgeon and Margot Robbie plays Jess Barrett con-lady in training. Of all the victims Jess could choose from she selects Nicky to be her target and quickly her cover is blown early on in them film. Nicky gives Jess pointers on her failed con attempt on him leaving Jess wanting more and therein a bond is made.

What unfolds are intense gambles, a jealous love triangle and a whole lot of pretenses by some unsuspecting characters. The scenes at the Super Bowl had me reeling in my seat and gasping at Nicky’s stubborn refusal to give up the bet that could lose him a $1 million!

Margot Robbie is a very likable presence on film and Will Smith is even more gorgeous on the big screen.

Despite it’s title “Focus” the viewer cannot follow a sole plot as there are so many twists and turns in the movie. Though the grinds to the left, right and centre are satisfying to watch unravel.

The ending is quick and you will not necessarily see it coming. As Smith’s character says in the first quarter there is no big con where we make so much money and retire.

All in all an enjoyable movie to watch in the cinema and I have already told others to see the movie so it receives 8/10.