24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Workplace comedies

Meet the new Hollywood trend, sort of the same as the old trend: workplace comedies

March 16, 2011 |  6:28 pm

Offi
For many film fans, the high point of the workplace comedy -- or its subgenre, the terrible-boss comedy -- is Mike Judge's "Office Space" from about a decade ago. Or, if you're inclined in a different direction, Dolly Parton's "Nine to 5" from three decades ago.

But all notable Hollywood trends must come back, and so it goes with this one, as moviedom prepares for a mini-wave of workplace comedies.

In July, Seth Gordon's "Horrible Bosses" will hit theaters. The dark comedy is about a group of unhappy employees who decide that life would be better if they kill their boss and features a star-laden cast that -- for good in-jokey fun -- also stars Jennifer Aniston, of course the female lead in "Office Space."

Meanwhile, one of the hot scripts that's been making the rounds in Hollywood over the past few weeks is called "Meet the New Boss." The premise? Several employees grumble about their boss until he's replaced by a robot, which proves to be a lot worse.  (It's written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, the writers on Jonah Hill's upcoming semi-remake of "Adventures in Babysitting.") And then there's a new workplace comedy being developed for Zac Efron.

This on top of "Up in the Air," a dramatic offshoot of the workplace movie, and less successful comedies (see Judge's "Office Space" follow-up "Extract" in 2009).

Moviedom is catching up with television, which after decades of office-set hits such as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"  and "Newsradio" has more recently been satirizing cubicle politics with shows like "The Office." And of course any time a recession comes around, there's always some vicarious pleasure to be taken in watching a boss get his.

Some trends don't go away. They just  keep coming back, like an unfinished TPS report.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

RELATED:

Will 'Horrible Bosses' be 'Office Space' redux?

Photo: A scene from "Office Space." Credit: 20th Century Fox

 


 


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