This 1999 movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Ron Livingstone is one of the funniest Hollywood movies I have seen. It is the story of three men working at a computer company (called Initech Corporation in the movie, but it could be any company in the world) just trying to make it though each workday without getting in trouble or getting laid off. The main character, Peter Gibbons, played by Ron Livingston, spends most of his day staring into space and doing almost nothing. He is also repeatedly nagged by different managers telling him over and over the things he is doing wrong, making him want to ignore his job even more. After some cajoling by his girl friend, Peter agrees to see a hypnotherapist, who dies after hypnotizing Peter into a new state of mind that changes his perspective on life. He doesn’t show up to work any more, and stops putting any effort into even pretending to work. Around the same time, his company brings in restructuring consultants to make major changes by downsizing and laying off workers. Peter’s candid remarks about the company, casual attitude towards work, and body language somehow impresses the consultants who reward him, while his two best friends Michael and Samir are fired. The three friends decide to take revenge from the company by planting a virus in the computer system that will withdraw pennies from the company’s account and put money into their personal account. After the plan goes into effect, they realize that the virus is not stealing pennies, but is moving thousands of dollars. Peter decides to return the money to the company and take the blame so his friends don’t get into trouble. He writes an apology letter and leaves it under his boss’s door. However, when he goes to work next morning the office building has been burned down (by another disgruntled worker). The movie ends with the three friends doing whatever it is they like doing instead of sitting in their cubicle all day.
The movie does a good job of presenting the average workplace- boring and political. I especially liked the scene about the TPC report, where some obscure paper report employees need to complete becomes so important that everybody just wants to talk about it. Not only about its contents, but the proper way to complete it (with a cover sheet!). Having worked in a few places myself and seen how documentation takes a life of its own (becomes a goal in itself), I can see why a creative, hard working, and innovative employee would feel bored and useless. I recommend this movie to all those who like watching comedies, especially comedies about the workplace (be careful about the profanities and obscene language, especially if you have kids around).