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Film: Other Peoples Money
1991 drama/romantic comedy staring Danny DeVito and Penelope Ann Miller. Lawrence Garfield, a/k/a "Larry the Liqudator," (DeVito) is an apparently heartless, but secretly lonely, corporate raider launching a hostile takeover of a company that makes wire and cable. The founder of the company reaches out to Kate (Penelope Ann Miller), to stop him. Larry soon becomes enamoured of her (seeing as how she's, you know, Penelope Ann Miller—click the link under Male Gaze), leading him to try to beat her and woo her at the same time.

Tropes used in the film:

  • Ambiguously Jewish: In the original play, Larry's last name is the very Jewish-sounding Garfinkle. In the film, it's changed to Garfield, possibly to avoid Unfortunate Implications.
  • And Then What?: Kate asks Larry this. He responds, astounded:
    "And then what?" Whoever has the most when he dies wins!
    • Of course, by the end of the film, Larry is no longer happy just making more money (if he ever was), because he is in love with Kate.
  • Artistic License - Economics: Both Jorgy and Larry in their big speeches. Jorgy talks about how the wire and cable industry will recover when the dollar is a little stronger and the yen is a little weaker; actually, that would just mean that an American company like his would get priced out of the market by its Japanese competitors. On the other hand, Larry says that the fastest way to go broke is to have an increasing share of a shrinking market; that's true if and only if the market shrinks away to nothing, which is unlikely to happen for products like wire and cable. Otherwise, having an increasing share of a shrinking market is a way to become spectacularly profitable, since it eliminates all your competitors.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension
  • Hello, Attorney!- Kate. See also Male Gaze
  • Japan Takes Over the World - This is what Larry claimed to be worried about when he said he encouraged his employees to learn Japanese.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em - This is essentially Larry's argument to the stockholders in the climax; the company's dead, it's going to be dead with or without him, so they might as well get out with a bit of money by going with him rather than the nothing they'll get when it eventually does fold for good.
  • Male Gaze- Their first meeting (literally, a Hello, Attorney!).
  • Pet the Dog- Larry tells Kate over dinner how a cheerleader broke his heart in high school.
  • Stalking Is Love
  • Strawman Has a Point / Jerkass Has a Point: A rare in-universe example. Larry is seen as the villain by most of the characters in the film, because he's ruthless and rich and trying to make money by breaking up a small, old-fashioned business. But when we actually listen to him, he makes the very good point that the company, though well-intentioned, has been losing its stockholders' money for years, it will eventually go bankrupt anyway due to technological obsolescence, and this is the only way for the stockholders to get some of their money back.
  • Title Drop-
    • Larry claims the only thing he loves more than money is other people's money.
    • Larry uses a shell corporation in his takeover schemes called OPM. Which stands for...
    • Andrew Jorgenson also gets one in when he derisively accuses Larry of "playing God with other's people's money."
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife- Or at least hot love interest, as we're supposed to think that Penelope Ann Miller might fall for Danny DeVito.
    • In the original play, they do get married.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Notably subverted. The film pits a wealthy corporate raider played by Danny Devito against a hard-working, old-fashioned, New England factory owner who genuinuely cares about his employees and his family business and is played by Gregory Peck. At the climax of the film, Gregory Peck makes an empassioned speech about industry and America, about honor and old-fashioned values. His opponent counters with a speech about how he can make the stockholders more money... and wins easily.
    • Although after he wins, it's heavily implied that he'll let Kate talk him into selling the company back to its employees so they can make airbags.

OscarFilms of the 1990sOut For Justice

alternative title(s): Other Peoples Money
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