Published Dec 01, 2004It's out with the old and in with the new in Weitz's follow-up to his faithful and enjoyable treatment of Nick Hornby's About A Boy. Written by Weitz, In Good Company is the tale of two men vying for the head sales job at Sports America, a leading, but floundering, sports magazine.
Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) leads a great life with two daughters, a loving wife and a job he lives for. However, one day a midlife crisis hits and he finds out that not only is he about to become a father for the third time, but he is also being demoted when a conglomerate buys out the magazine. Young hotshot Carter Duryea (Topher Grace) replaces him, but his life isn't any better. His wife of seven months leaves him, he smashes up his new car and he has nowhere to turn except to coffee and his new wingman, Dan. Carter immediately infiltrates Dan's family and begins secretly dating his oldest daughter, Alex (Scarlett Johansson). This obviously leads to trouble for everyone.
Weitz has struck gold again with In Good Company. Like his last film, he explores the importance of relationships, as unlikely and uncomfortable as they are. Dan, being the jock that he is, raised two daughters, but now finds a surrogate son in Carter. Carter, on the other hand, is lonely and misguided without his family to rely on. In Dan he finds the father figure that he needs for guidance. Weitz uses the divide between youth and experience at first to create friction, which by the film's conclusion has eroded into a life lesson for both characters.
This is easily Quaid's finest hour in his 30-year career. While he's always been a reliable actor, he has found a niche between drama and comedy, pulling off some very touching scenes, as well as the film's funniest moments. Grace as well does a nice job, furthering his career and proving that out of all those goofy kids in the Forman basement, he is definitely the talented one.
This is an impressive, heart-warming comedy and an even stronger argument that the man who gave us American Pie has matured into one of the more talented filmmakers working today. (Universal)