What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this lukewarm workplace comedy from Mike Judge (of King of the Hill and Office Space fame) includes a good bit of talk about sex, but no actual sex scenes or nudity (though many of the male characters do their share of leering at women). Three men smoke pot with a bong, and there's some social drinking and salty language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as a few comments that stray into sexist/stereotype territory. The main character contemplates adultery and comes up with a way to do so without guilt (or so he thinks).
What's the story?
Joel (Jason Bateman) is stuck in a frigid marriage. His wife, Suzie (Kristen Wiig), won’t sleep with him if he gets home past 8 p.m. -- which he often does, since he runs a factory that makes food flavorings. A misguided plan hatched with the help of his best friend, Dean (Ben Affleck), has Joel setting Suzie up so she cheats first, theoretically leaving him free to indulge in his attraction to a new temp (Mila Kunis). And that’s not the only mess on his hands: His workers barely work, his second-in-command won’t bother to learn their names, and an injured employee is threatening to sue.
Is it any good?
You'd think a partnership between Mike Judge and Jason Bateman couldn't possibly misfire -- but in EXTRACT, it sadly does. Funny in parts but hardly witty, not to mention heavily dependent on immature humor, it fails to achieve the absurd charm of Judge’s beloved Office Space. While the engaging Bateman still manages to make a guy who pays for someone else to have sex with his wife appealing, none of the other characters are. (Affleck isn't half-bad as a stoner bartender, but Jeff Spicoli he ain’t.) And, likable or not, even Bateman can’t make Joel’s boredom interesting.
The movie's pacing is also woefully slack considering how many jokes are flung -- not that they’re all zingers -- and some showdowns meant for laughs (one particular neighborly confrontation comes to mind) seem downright mean. While there are some moments of hilarity, as when Suzie attempts to talk with her gigolo, there just aren’t enough of them to elevate the film to anywhere approaching greatness.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's style of humor. Who is it intended to appeal to? Does it succeed?
Are the movie's characters portrayed fully or stereotypically? What did you think of how the male characters viewed the female ones? Do you think they saw them as sex objects?
What do you think of Joel’s relationship with his wife? Are their challenges typical of a modern marriage? How did they get to thispoint in their life?