Management Cover Sometimes when two people want to find true love, I am afraid to say that they might have to change their ways to be able to do this. Well, it only stands to reason, huh? How else can a man and a woman have union of seminal conformity, unless it is Directed by Stephen Belber; and Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, and Woody Harrelson. Especially if it was made in 2009, and lasts for 94-minutes!!!


Now it takes love-struck hotel-clerk, Mike Flux (Steve Zahn), two nights, and two bottles of wine, before he can get to touch pretty sales-rep, Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston), pert ass. Yet, the following day, just before Sue checks out of the hotel and travels back home, he does not need to so anything to have sex with her in the hotels wash room.

Strange that, huh?

Still, spurned on by this promising turn of events, Mike trails Sue to her home base, and somewhat timorously tries to get to know her as best he can. And do you know what? Once Mike has to go return back home, Sue pay him a surprise visit too - all in a rather awkward hitherto manner.

However, this hopeful circumstance does not seem to last for too long. Because when Sue has to leave Mike once more – Mike’s mum, Trish (Margo Martindale), dies – his Dad, Jerry (Fred Ward), contemplates selling the hotel that he is working in – and on top of that, Sue changes her job, changes her home, and then moves in with her ex-boyfriend, Jango (Woody Harrelson) as well.

Poor sod.

Thankfully, though, Mike does have a spattering of good luck subsequently. You see, whilst he is trying to find Sue, he makes the acquaintance of restaurant porter, Al (James Hiroyuki Liao), whom gets him a job, gets him a place to say, and he even then helps him locate Sue too.

And does this work out for the best? Err – no – not really. Sue's 'ex', Jango, does not take too likely to Mike’s presence, and, in a manner of speaking, manages to dissuade Mike from pursuing Sue any more – especially once Mike hears the news that Sue and Jango are going to get married, and that she is pregnant also.

Therefore, that is why what next transpires is a very soul-searching affair indeed. As meditation leads to enlightenment – unions turns to sorrow – and hotels transform into an auspicious new start for one and for all.  


Now I have to admit, that I am somewhat confused by this film ‘Management’. Please note, this confusion does not have anything to do with if I like it or not – as I do find it somewhat charming in its own way.  Instead, I find that this film is one of those films that defies classification, and does not really sit too well within the whole milieu that it has been placed upon.

It is not a comedy – it is not a rom-com – and in addition to this, I cannot say that it is an evolving drama either! Rather, it is a mixture of all of these things combined together in a strangely aloof manner. 

OK, so what do I normally do when I am confused about a film, huh? Correct – it is kiddie’s time in reviews-ville, and I need to play me a game of advantage / disadvantage.

Jen's ass in Management

(1) All the principle characters in this film are very good in it, and shows’ that Jennifer, Steve, Woody, and James, are very versatile actors indeed. (2) My stand out actor for this film is James Hiroyuki Liao, as he plays the ‘zany token Chinese guy’ exceptionally well. In fact, he does so well, that I wished that the film were about his character instead. (3) There are some very dramatic scenes in this film, all of which reflects that this film is more than just another rom-com. For example, the scene between Jennifer and Steve in the basement, powerful stuff. (4) I feel that the heart of this film is all about unrequited love – and that is a good topic to be presented in this singleton day and age, very refreshing. And (5) I did like Steve and Jen’s coupling in this film – because, as a partnership, they did work off of each other fairly well, either on there own, or with Woody and James by there side. 

(1) The structure of ‘Management’ plays out like a three act play, however, the flow between chapters is rather translucent and lop-sided at times, making the overall experience jaded in places. (2) There are instances in this film which are not explained in more detail, or not even mentioned in hindsight. Like the fact how Steve’s character just drifts in and out of his place of work at the drop of a hat, and seems to just ‘put down sticks’ whenever he feels like it. (3) Now in this film, Steve’s parents own a hotel, right? They have people who work for them, quite a few rooms to rent, and their place of operation does not look dilapidated or run down at all. So why does Steve’s character never have any money? Strange that, huh? (4) The motivations of Jennifer’s’ character does not appear relatable at times, and she does come across as confusing through out the course of the film. She is flattered by Steve – she sleeps with Steve – she shuns Steve – she goes back to visit Steve – etc, etc, etc. Now is this a woman thing? Or am I on my own here? Why the bi-polar nature? And why wasn’t this explained more fully? (5) This film is not what I would call a funny-funny film, instead it is more of an amusing film – like a diluted version of the British sit-com ‘The Office’, without Ricky Gervais in it. 

Jen and Steve in Management

OK, so it is five apiece – hmmm – sounds about right, though maybe a touch too harsh. You see, all in all, ‘Management’ is a good film to watch, and it does have a promising and powerful message in it too...

"Never give up hope - always keep on trying - and one day, you never know, things might turn out for the best".

So how can I say anything that bad, about a film that has such a good message in it?

Good film – strained in places – dramatic in others.


MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT Reviewed by David Andrews on January 19, 2012 Rating: 5
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