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6 Films That Feature The Office As Supporting Actor

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Michael Lokner via flickr Creative Commons
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flic.kr/p/7kYSTb

The workplace/office has long been the source of gripes at the dinner table, but it is also a mainstay in Hollywood as an obstacle for movie characters to overcome or endure. The movie Office Space is an obvious example of an office playing an essential supporting role--or even the lead role--in a movie, so we didn't include it in the list. There are plenty more that didn't make the cut. Have a favorite? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Joe Versus the Volcano | 1990

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan establish their now famous on-screen chemistry in an office that no one would ever want to work in. This is a bizarre, and in my opinion, underrated 90s classic.

Favorite/Most Hated Quote: "I am not arguing that with you."

http://youtu.be/LnLDMqPBeKQ

Brazil | 1985

Terri Gilliam's sci-fi classic imagines a dystopian retro-future where the office is a mind numbing nightmare of bureaucracy.

Favorite Quote: "You can't borrow anymore chairs! There's only one left and I need that one to sit on!"

http://youtu.be/mS5WLkb_Cxk

Playtime | 1967

Monsieur Hulot is looking for an American in Paris and gets lost in a dizzying maze of beautiful modern architecture. The office is less a villain here, and more of an obstacle. I've never seen this film, but I so appreciate the mid-century modern aesthetic.

http://youtu.be/zrYB8hgyq4s

Wanted | 2008

Wesley (James McAvoy) has a long anticipated meltdown in the office and then joins Angelina Jolie as a mercenary assassin. Clip is NSFW for language. Note the nice homage to the red Swingline stapler from Office Space.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK0-76FChfk

Being John Malkovich | 1999

An aspiring puppeteer, Craig (John Cusack), lands a soul crushing filing job with J.M. Inc. which is located on the  floor 7 1/2 of an office building. Once there, he discovers a portal to a very strange place and starts a side job charging people for the experience. I saw John Malkovich in a restaurant in Cambridge about 10 years ago and I couldn't help but wonder if there was another person staring back at me behind those eyes.

http://youtu.be/9V_bukpqoPY

Defending Your Life | 1991

When Daniel (Albert Brooks) is killed by a bus, he is transported not to heaven or hell but to a kind of purgatory while he waits to defend the actions of his life. It seems only fitting that he meets with Bob Diamond (Rip Torn) to discuss his 'case' in a nondescript office building. Purgatory indeed. I highly recommend this movie for several reasons: Albert Brooks is hilarious, Rip Torn is a delight, Meryl Streep, and the "Past Lives Pavillion."

http://youtu.be/eQmJl1CQx2o

Logan’s work experience is as interesting as her higher education. After earning her BFA in Studio Art from The University of Iowa, she worked at Crate & Barrel as a merchandising designer and store manager; at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as a Collections Care Specialist; and at Timberland as a Retail Visual Manager. In addition to her BFA, she has an MFA in Jewelry and Light Metals from RI School of Design and received certification in Design and Construction of Mounts for Exhibits from the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation in Illinois. She is currently studying for her Masters in English/Creative Writing at SNHU. Logan is also an intermediate skier, novice snowboarder, avid hiker, and “runner when chased”. She lives in Manchester.

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