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Film / In Good Company

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Are you psyched?

Carter: I'm gonna have to let some people go.
Dan: Why do you say let them go? They don't want to go. Why don't you just say fire them?
Carter: Because it sounds better.
Dan: Not to the person getting fired.
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A 2004 American comedy drama film, written and directed by Paul Weitz, and starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, and Scarlett Johansson.

The film revolves around a middle-aged advertising executive whose company is bought out by a large international corporation leaving him with a new boss who is nearly half his age. His life is further complicated when his boss takes a romantic interest in his daughter.


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Contains examples of

Dan Carter: I-I'm not sure l understand how the way the world is changing is actually going to change how we do business. We're still selling a product, right? Which hopefully someone needs. We're human beings with other human beings for customers. So I don't see how this company is like its own country. I mean, just because we sell different kinds of things, that doesn't mean we should operate by our own laws, does it? Besides which, countries, at least democratic ones, they have some obligation to their citizens, don't they? So how do layoffs and bottom line thinking fit into that?
Dan Foreman: You can't be pregnant.
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Ann Foreman: Yeah I can, I am
Dan Foreman: Yeah, how could that happen?
Ann Foreman: Well I think that you were there too.
  • Cult of Personality The CEO of GlobeCom, Teddy K, has managed to achieve this. Staff members get ridiculously excited when he visits somewhere, and computers in the office even flash a message to this effect.
  • Mega-Corp: If the name GlobeCom didn't give it away, the company that Carter and Dan work for is quite large and spread across quite a few industries.
  • Henpecked Husband Morty's wife starts out wearing the pants. As the movie goes on, he worries that she's gonna wear the tie and jacket too. Later we learn that she gives him his own allowance, and he suspects that she's slowly poisoning him to death.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Initially, it seems as if the threatened mass layoffs will be avoided, and Carter will be able to get away with just firing the Pointy-Haired Boss serving under him. However, several scenes later, Carter's boss demands that he start "letting people go" left and right.
    • Related to those layoffs, it looks as if a cross-promotional deal might be able to prevent them, and the executive and Dan meet with seems receptive. Then he explains that his new parent company is feuding with Teddy K and won't let them do business.
  • Hypocritical Humor Dan is a straight shooter who hates all the corporate speak, especially telling people that they are being "let go" when they really don't want to go. Of course, when it's his turn to fire people, he realises the benefits of trying to let people down more gently. It doesn't work, of course, as they have no idea what he means.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: Carter's confession to Alex when he takes over as the boss of Dan's department
Carter Duryea: Oh, thank-you. I'm totally scared shitless. I have no idea what I'm doing. Don't tell anyone, okay?
  • Informed Flaw: One of the reasons Carter gives for firing Louie is sexual harassment, but this aspect of his character is never shown in the film (although some deleted scenes hint at it).
  • It Has Been an Honor: A Spear Carrier employee Carter is forced to fire who had earlier felt encouraged by Carter's team-building tells Carter working with him has been an honor.
  • Must Have Caffeine: A lot of Carter's energy seems to come from his love of coffee.
    Carter Durea: Yeah, just keep them coming. You don't even have to ask.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Or mostly naked people. When Dan figures out his family is throwing a surprise birthday party, he walks into the house wearing nothing but his boxer shorts. Everyone laughs except his youngest daughter, who freaks out.
  • Non-Answer GlobeCom CEO Teddy K gives an outstanding one in response to Dan's armour-piercing question:
You ask some excellent questions. Excellent, excellent questions. I'm glad you asked them. And I'm leaving it to you, to all of you, to answer them.
  • The Only Believer: The world of advertising is portrayed as being full of people who are just trying to make a buck by making people buy things they really don't need. Dan Foreman on the other hand is in this because he believes he's really helping people make the best decision for their businesses and futures.
Carter Duryea: Wow, you really believe in this stuff, huh?
Dan Foreman: Of course. Why else would I do it?
  • Overprotective Dad: And how. At various points, Dan threatens to drop kick his potential son-in-law across the restaurant, hunt him down and neuter him. He also tells his daughter that he has wired the house with video surveillance.
  • Rousing Speech: Carter gives one of these to his new team, and his enthusiasm is so infectious that he even manages to get the janitor "psyched!"
  • Simpleminded Wisdom: Down-to-earth Dan has some obvious but rather good marital advice.
Carter Duryea: Dan, you seem to have the perfect marriage. How do you do it?
Dan Foreman: You just pick the right one to be in the foxhole with, and then when you're outside of the foxhole you keep your dick in your pants.
Carter Duryea: That's poetic.
  • Teen Drama: Dan likes his daughter a lot better when she was easier to handle.
Dan Foreman: We made a deal, remember? We made a deal we'd always be honest with one another.
Alex Foreman: Dad, I was like five years old when we made that deal.
Dan Foreman: Yeah, I liked you better then.


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