What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this indie romcom probably won't have much appeal for kids, even many teens. A note of melancholy runs through it, and its themes -- romantic and professional boredom -- are fairly mature, though the film does have interesting things to say about finding your bliss and creating a path for yourself. Swearing (including "f--k") is the main reason for the R rating; there's also a little bit of drinking, one character smokes (though he quits for love), and two people who barely know each other have an intimate interaction that later balloons into a relationship.
What's the story?
On paper, Sue (Jennifer Aniston) and Mike (Steve Zahn) have no business playing at love. She sells kitschy artwork to hotels and lives in Baltimore; he's the goofy, purposeless son helping his parents out at their small-town Arizona motel. But a layover plunks Sue onto Mike's turf, and though he borders on creepy, his insistent charm works on her. An unlikely long-distance relationship ensues, but when Sue moves to Seattle to be with her punk-rocker-turned-yogurt-mogul boyfriend (Woody Harrelson), Mike follows her, intent on convincing her that she is, in fact, his meant-to-be. But Sue's not so easy to persuade, and there are bigger considerations to take into account. ...
Is it any good?
There are winning oddball movies, and then there are ones that are just plain odd. MANAGEMENT is more of the latter. Its loopy plot and characters scream "sleeper indie hit," but it doesn't gel. The story -- how opposites attract, even repel, but find their way back to each other again ... with a little bit of stalking -- requires a coupling that we can root for, and this simply isn't it. Though Aniston and Zahn hit all the correct comedic beats, they don't have much romantic chemistry; they'd be better off playing siblings in another movie.
The bigger sin, thought, is that Management suffers from kooky-itis. It strains so hard to be offbeat that it becomes off-putting. Fine acting isn't enough to make a masterpiece out of this muddle.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what the movie ultimately says about passion -- romantic or otherwise. Why is it important to be passionate about something? Does Sue and Mike's relationship seem believable? Why does it hit so many road bumps? Why does Sue figuratively push Mike away when she clearly likes him? How is the movie similar to and different from other romantic comedies?