Management (2008) starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, Margo Martindale, Fred Ward, James Hiroyuki Liao, Woody Harrelson directed by Stephen Belber Movie Review

Management (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Steve Zahn as Mike in Management (2008)

Touchy Feely Butt Comedy

"Management" is the sort of movie I really enjoy; it doesn't mean that it is great but the sort which I would happily watch again. Why? Well because it tries and often succeeds to walk the line between mainstream and indie romantic comedy delivering cute and awkward in equal measures. It doesn't always get the balance right and sometimes the mainstream and indie elements clash but the lasting feeling is of a sweet love story between two people who over the course of the story you warm to.

Mike's (Steve Zahn - Sahara) existence is dull, he helps run his parents motel, filling the shelves, cleaning the pool and his only escape is his once week yoga session followed by Chinese. But then one day corporate art seller Sue (Jennifer Aniston - The Break-Up) books in for a couple of nights and Mike is smitten and does his awkward best to try and woo her. Despite being creepy in his almost stalkerish ways he succeeds and Sue grows fond of him. But with Sue living in Maryland things are not simple especially as she is looking for security which her ex, frozen yoghurt magnate Jango (Woody Harrelson) can offer.

Jennifer Aniston as Sue in Management (2008)

There is a surprisingly lot going on in "Management" a lot more than I mentioned in the synopsis above because whilst not complex it throws around ideas, characters, styles to create almost a hotch potch of a movie. Take the opening, it almost feels like we are going to get "Psycho" as a romantic comedy as Mike creepily tries to chat Sue up, bringing her wine to her room and much more. Yet then we have the strange butt touch scene, offbeat, definitely not horror like and generally amusing. And this is what we get running through out the entire movie a complete mismatch of ideas and styles.

What this means is that often the various ideas and styles in "Management" clash, we go from the indie like friendship which forms between Mike and Sue to the craziness of Jango pelting Mike with a BB gun when he parachutes in to a swimming pool. Both of the elements work but they don't work together which on one hand does make "Management" unpredictable but also often a movie which feels like it is forcing the humour. And that is a shame because the overall feeling to "Management" is of a sweet romance, the way it starts out between Mike and Sue is a bit awkward but you warm to them both as characters, they bring out something in each other which is nice. And that is where the movie really works, we warm to both Mike and Sue, they are nice people trapped in lives and it is only when they are together that it seems right.

Now on one hand Jennifer Aniston as Sue delivers a familiar character, we get those looks of love which as a man makes us fall for her but there is nothing wrong with that because Aniston does it so well. But in truth it is Steve Zahn who delivers the more interesting character and it is Mike who we follow from being stuck in a rut, living at his parents' motel to how he changes and grows as he confronts life and love. Zahn and Aniston work so well together that you do end up warming to them as a couple and enjoy the cuteness of whenever they share a scene.

What this all boils down to is that "Management" is for me an enjoyable movie which delivers both mainstream and indie elements. It doesn't always get them right and sometimes the elements clash but at its heart is a pleasant romantic comedy.