In real life, most people get tired of going to work every morning. On the big screen, the workplace can make a great backdrop for storytelling. From the humorous realities to the poignant undertones, workplace movies are relatable for viewers. If you would rather think about the workplace you could have instead of the one you happen to work in, here are five popular workplace movies just for you.
1. “Office Space”
When it first came out in 1999, “Office Space” was not an instant hit. However, this workplace satire quickly developed a cult audience, making it one of the most widely recognized workplace movies around. The story takes place in a software company, and it portrays the plight so many workers face when they are lost in a sea of cubicles. The commentary on the American office place is biting and humorous all at the same time, and viewers are sure to laugh as much as they cringe while watching this movie.
2. “Up In The Air”
Starring George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, this understated workplace movie came out in 2009. Set in the aftermath of the economic turmoil of 2008, this movie deftly looks at corporate downsizing. Clooney and Kendrick portray consultants whose main job is firing people for other companies. Despite the humorous parts of the movie, its examination of the nature of downsizing is painful and far too resonant. “Up In The Air” is an excellent way to look at how much people give to their jobs and how little they get back.
3. “The Social Network”
When this movie came out in 2010, it was beloved by critics for its witty dialogue and quality acting. Although its account of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook has met with some criticism for its accuracy, the movie does provide a fascinating look at how the business evolved from a small operation in a dorm room to the massive company that it is today. Even with all the relational drama in this movie, it is one of the most stunning portrayals of how a business is built from the ground up on screen in the modern era.
4. “You’ve Got Mail”
This movie may be a little dated with its references to early Internet connections and AOL, but “You’ve Got Mail” is much more than a romantic comedy. With solid performances from Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, “You’ve Got Mail” explores the intrusive nature of big box stores and how easily small, local shops lose ground. Even though this movie was released in 1998, the competition between new retail avenues and older stores is still a relevant consideration. As Amazon and other online retailers create competition for brick and mortar stores, the conflict at the heart of this movie is still worth watching.
5. “The Devil Wears Prada”
This comedy-laced drama was a surprise hit in 2006, and it still serves as one of the most memorable workplace movies to date. While the action may take place at a fashion magazine, the representation of cutting office dynamics is easy to relate to other industries. Anne Hathaway’s turn as a lowly and overworked assistant is contrasted brilliantly with Meryl Streep’s portrayal of a demanding, relentless editor, depicting a workplace dynamic everyone can recognize somewhat even if they wish they could not.
The next time you need an escape from your own workday, try one of these telling workplace movies. You will laugh, cry and be thankful that your job is not as tumultuous as it appears on the big screen.
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