While her character in Management isn't one of the sweeter and more personable characters she's played, you really just can't go wrong with any Jennifer Aniston movie. Admittedly, I was a little worried about Steve Zahn's ability to hold his own alongside her, but he turned in a terrific performance. It's not easy to play a sort of dumb character in a serious, natural, and completely honest manner, but Zahn does it. There are laughs aplenty to be found here, but this is no dumb comedy ' not by a long shot.
Poor Mike (Zahn) is about as smooth with the ladies as I am. When Sue Claussen (Aniston) checks in at the family-owned hotel where he works as the night manager and janitor, he is immediately smitten and uses the old 'complimentary wine' ruse to try and get to know her. A couple of uncomfortable yet very funny scenes ensue, and we learn that this beautiful woman who is way out of Mike's league is something of a lonely soul herself. That being said, Sue has no thought of ever seeing Mike again ' until he shows up at her workplace on the other side of the country a few days later. In a seemingly foolhardy and somewhat spontaneous move, Mike has spent all of his money and left his family behind just to come and see her. Sue is less than happy about this unexpected turn of events, but a part of her can't help but be touched by the puppy-dog devotion she has inspired in this strange young man. After returning home, an undeterred Mike sends her letters and poems before chasing after her once again when she moves to the state of Washington to reunite with her old boyfriend (Woody Harrelson). Mike proves himself quite willing to do anything, no matter how crazy, to see her again.Read more ›
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As i write this mini review..and i just read one online which was quite perceptive and i didnt give this a five star rating just four..and the director notes problems as well..in some of the characters and scenes near the end the oriental 'best friend' the buddhist monastery vietnam (monks werent always known as being all that political)..but more on that later..a look at a few films and i see where the play on which it was based or the directors pruning of it as we're told much was cut..and the film is rather short given its ambitious storyline? The male is really the center of the piece..and the female lead more well known..and established is given top billing..even though her role is secondary..its really the males psychology and story we are told here. The director or writer starts off like he has seen too many viewings of Psycho..the hotel..hotel room..management..the old Bates hotel. A great movie..and probably the most recognised..did anyone else notice the similarity? Does the character appear as psychotic as "norman" anthony perkins in the role..he is led into the room..a hotel room..and she invites him to sex..in a laundrymat..a comedic in which his immaturity shines..and it leads to a brief affair..no longer in the confines of the hotel..but she also has relations with others(a multiple sex scene discussion was cut from the film. It seems rather poorly written in which the character is told to accept the idea of multiple partners in the female characters life?..)..and later there is a scene where she admits to carrying someone else's child..Read more ›
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Lovely little film.Sept. 9 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This film was absolutely beautiful. It has that shy pre-emptiveness we expect from films which deal with tender topics such as love and approaching a girl. We all know that the chances of watching a Jennifer Aniston film and being completely bowled over are slim but this film does do that. I thought she was very good in the film and man, did the film have it's funny moments. Before watching this film, I saw Sunshine Cleaning and I quite liked the film. The one thing that is common between this film and Sunshine is Steve Zahn. Management, however, is the film that I liked more and I thought it had it's heart in the right place. At just 1 hour 20 minutes, this film never promises to conquer the world but it makes you go into guffaws.
This film has no flaws and unlike films like "You, Me and Dupree" this film never tries too hard to be cute. It's amazing how such films can be churned out even in 2009. I wish I had waited and seen this at the movies but that was not meant to be. I sneaked an advanced screening copy from some place and I'm sorry for that. There is wonderful chemistry between Zahn and Aniston. Girls, you will love this. Guys, you will not hate your girls for this. Genuine, free spirited and unabashed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Management ReviewNov. 9 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
STARRING: Steve Zahn, Jennifer Aniston, Woody Harrelson, Margo Martindale, James Hiroyuki Liao and Fred Ward
WRITTEN BY: Stephen Belber
DIRECTED BY: Stephen Belber
Rated: R Genre: Romantic Comedy Release Date: 15 May 2009
If you've seen the cover for Management, you may have thought to yourself, 'Wow, Steve Zahn looks a bit like a puppy dog.' If you did, you were right. He is a puppy with a real bad case of puppy love for Jennifer Aniston's character, Sue.
Zahn plays Mike who is kind of a slacker slash loaner slash something else. He never really did grow up but we love him nonetheless.
He works as a night-time manager at his parent's hotel called The Kingman Inn, in Kingman Arizona. His life is real blah, to say the least.
Then along comes Sue. She's an uptight art saleswoman from back east. She's in town for two nights selling some hotel paintings and happens to be staying at The Kingman Inn.
Mike is instantly smitten for her and she is almost repulsed by his unique awkwardness. I won't spoil for you how they meet and how funny it is, because if you haven't seen the trailers (like I hadn't) then it will be a nice little treat for you.
I don't know whether to credit the actors or the writer/director (Stephen Belber) for this brilliant scene; they probably all deserve the credit. It was shot so well and has so much to it for the small amount of dialogue that's used.
Eventually, Mike grows on Sue just a tad and she leaves to head back east. Mike thinks there was a way bigger connection than there actually was and acts on it. He takes all his money and buys a one way ticket across the country to go and surprise her at work.
Sue is not pleased but does mildly see this as a sweet gesture and agrees to spend a little time with him. Once she discovers he only had enough cash for a one way ticket, she buys him a ticket back home and tells him it's just not going to work out between the two of them.
He learns that she has quit her job and moved to Washington to help her ex-boyfriend, who is now her new boyfriend again, who would still technically be considered an old boyfriend, right? Anyway, to help him with his yogurt business.
Mike realizes that he may lose her forever and sells everything he has and moves to Washington. Once there, he has no idea how to contact her or find her and is homeless and jobless.
He meets Al, (James Hiroyuki Liao), who next to Mike was the funniest character in the movie. Al works in a Chinese-American restaurant that his parents run and offers Mike a job and a place to stay. Mike agrees and moves into their basement.
Together, they set out on a quest to get Sue back for Mike. Al is the ultimate wing man and is hilarious. I'm sure we can expect to see this young actor in a lot more films.
They eventually track Sue and her boyfriend down and plenty of funny shenanigans are had. Woody Harrelson plays the boyfriend who is often referred to as, 'an ex punk'. Needless to say, as always Woody adds a nice mix into the comedic elements of this film.
But the film isn't just a comedy. It's filled with several dramatic and touching moments that really hit you in the gut. This isn't your typical romantic comedy by any means. There are no clichés here and the movie isn't predictable.
In addition to a lot of laughs, there are great performances from every actor on screen. One thing that makes it so great is how much you get out of short scenes. Fred Ward and Margo Martindale aren't in the film for very long at all, but you feel like you really get to know them because their performances as Mike's parents are so believable and enjoyable.
I especially loved the scene between Mike and his father involving a necklace. It's such a simple scene and with other actors would have been a lot less.
Aniston may make a lot of the same kinds of movies but she never is the same character in her films. Here she is uptight but caring and has a soft side that only Mike can seem to bring out in her.
Zahn definitely has a bigger part in the movie. We follow him through the entire film and I think this is probably his best performance. There is a scene towards the end of the film where he really breaks down and we see that he's a lot more than just the funny guy. Steve Zahn can play both sides of the coin, being dramatic and hilarious every bit as good as Robin Williams.
If you want to watch a romantic comedy that most of us can relate to, will surely bring a smile to your face and a tear to your cheek, then Management is that film.
Stephen Bebler did a knock out job for this being his first major film. It was beautifully written, hysterical at times and heart-warming at others. More films of this genre should take a few notes from what he's done here.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"...You Can Touch My Butt...But Then You Gotta Go..."Nov. 26 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
The premise isn't new - dweeb falls for babe - babe finds him repulsive at first, but then grows to love his sincerity and ordinary ways - dweeb and babe ride off into the sunset having both grown into nice people. Yeah right!
It's a hard sell at the best of times, but "Management" just about pulls it off - and it does so because of excellent writing and the stunning acting capabilities of its two principal leads.
STEVE ZAHN plays the hapless, but sweetly naïve Mike Cranshaw who is living and working with his parents in their small motel "The Kingman Motor Inn" in the town of Kingman in Arizona (off Route 66). Mike's Mum Trish is effectively running the solid but uninspiring joint (a beautifully understated performance by MARGO MARTINDALE), while her says-little and does-even-less husband Jerry (FRED WARD at his effective best) seems stuck in a rut he doesn't know how to get out of.
Life at the Motel is routine and boring - especially for the friendless and womanless Mike. But just occasionally - he gets up enough courage to bring a bottle of plonk around to a lady guest in her chalet and try on his `complimentary' wine routine. It never works. But this time - Mike's heart gets more than it bargained for when it encounters the big-city, tight-suited Jennifer Aniston character Susan Claussen, who's in town from Baltimore to flog paintings to corporate clients. Planes to appointments, car rentals to accommodation and a laptop on the bedside, she is the very epitome of a young executive woman going places. Mike is the last person in the world Sue would consider dating, let alone spending a lifetime with...the idea is almost laughable to her. But of course she keeps coming back to his sweetness and he pursues her because he's besotted and simply doesn't understand 'no' - nor get the meaning of boundaries.
Along the way Mike encounters Zen Buddhists, takes piano lessons, sleeps in a basement in a Chinese restaurant and jumps out of a plane. There's one particularly great scene where Sue figures if she lets Mike touch her perfectly formed posterior, he'll give up and she can get on with her presentation notes and get a night's sleep (title above). She leans over and presents the said rear for his delectation. With his hand placed on her right cheek, they talk about weather conditions in Maryland - it's both visually and lyrically - very, very funny.
But what keeps you watching is the growing tenderness between the two. Mike may not be the smartest tool in the kit, but he is heartfelt and sincere - and in many ways despite her obvious intelligence and affluence, Sue isn't. She needs to learn that and he needs to grow up. Woody Harrelson also turns up in a great pantomime role as the ex-punk-rocker Jango who is now rich through dog handling. Later Mike's Mum Trish becomes gravely ill - thereby presenting the two men in her life with changes both may not want but need...and on it goes.
Written and Directed by first-timer STEPHEN BELBER and produced by SIDNEY KEMMEL, the offbeat rom-com "Management" hit the US screens in May 2009 receiving excellent reviews. And on the strength of this September 2009 BLU RAY - it's easy to see why.
I first spotted Steve Zahn in a wonderful film called "Happy, Texas" where he was paired up with Britain's Jeremy Northam as two escaped convicts trapped in a hick town which tames their thieving ways and changes both of them for the better. Zahn's been bubbling under for years, but in "Management" he really shines. A lesser actor might have overdone the inner nerd to go for hammy laughs - and in the real world his character's ludicrous naivety might even have been insufferable, but Zahn makes you ache for Mike's attempts at wooing Susan.
Aniston is more capable now as an actress than she's ever been. Her character's disbelief and dismissive awkwardness at first is so believable - and as the movie progresses - her barriers very subtly start coming down - to a point where you really do believe she would look at Mike as a 'nice guy' - and as 'good for her' - and that's more important than all the material crap in-between. She is superb in the part.
Although it feels like an Indie production, the BLU RAY image is beautiful throughout - really crisp - you are aware almost all of the time that this is high-def and not a soft DVD image.
The extras are great fun too; a feature-length commentary by Stephen Belber and Steve Zahn, Gag Reels and Bloopers (very funny outtakes - mostly of the whole cast giggling and fluffing lines), several Deleted Scenes and a Trailer.
"Management" is not going to bolster up my gravity-bound man-titties or lessen the amount of hair growing out my nasal passages - but it has enriched my brain. At its core is a truly lovely premise - that love will out - and corny or not - that 'is' what many of us believe.
"Management" isn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but you can't help but think that the world is a nicer place, because this sweet little ode to hope is in it.
A nice little movie...
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An unexpected pleasureNov. 8 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This movie really brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was going to be a comedy. Instead, it was a romance with very honest characters and an unusually realistic feel to it. I think this is the best role I've ever seen Jennifer Aniston play. Steve Zahn is someone I've liked but never saw him as a leading man. The words 'leading man' hardly describe him in this movie. He is one of the two main characters (Aniston is the other) and he draws the viewer into his world. At first, you wonder if you really want to be in that world. Then, by the end of the movie, you feel like he could be your best friend. I can't help but think of another movie, 'Being John Malkovich', that tries to bring the viewer into a world. Sure, that world is topsy-turvy but the point is: that movie doesn't succeed in doing that half as much as this movie does. And that movie was critically acclaimed. This movie has not gathered much notice but I predict it will gain a reputation and stay around for a long time. I've already thrown out my copy of 'Being John Malkovich'. It takes 20 or 30 minutes to establish some things and it does this at a very slow pace. Stay with the movie - it picks up quickly and you love the characters, you just can't help it.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2 hours of my life I'll never get backJan. 3 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I watched the entire movie hoping that it would suddenly become good. That never really happened. While Steve Zahn's character grew into something sort of charming, and I did enjoy Woody Harrelson's brief appearance, the script just didn't seem fully developed. Jennifer Aniston's character was not likeable for me, and I think it could be the worst role of her career. She was mediocre, and the script didn't allow us to know her character enough to care about her. When I should have been hoping for Zahn and Aniston's characters to end up together - I found myself hoping that he would meet someone nice and forget about her. There were charming moments - none of them involving Aniston's character, but not enough to make me recommend this movie to anyone.