I’ve got to admit – I’m not a fan of Office Space. I didn’t dislike the film, but I’ve only seen it once and found it had a couple of funny scenes, and I’ve got no desire to see it again. I’ve never been into Beavis and Butthead, and I pretty much hate King of the Hill. So the name Mike Judge, to me, doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot.
Still, I’m a huge Ben Affleck fan, and I’ll pretty much see anything (except That 70’s Show) that has Mila Kunis in it, and Jason Bateman is having a pretty good run, so I thought I’d give Extract a try. It looked funny, and, like I mentioned, had a decent cast.
So, in Extract, Joel (Jason Bateman), the owner of an extract plant, is dealing with an unhappy marriage and an accident on the job that could lead to a potential lawsuit which could ruin the sale of the extract plant to a larger conglomerate. All the while, Cindy (Mila Kunis), a con artist, is using the unrest in Joel’s life to make some money. She gets a job at the plant and, in an effort to get her hands on the address of the employee involved in the accident (and reap his settlement rewards), seduces Joel and gets him interested in an affair. To help convince himself that it’s the right thing to do, his buddy Dean (Ben Affleck) convinces him to hire a gigolo to pose as a pool boy and seduce his wife (Kristen Wiig). If she does it, so can he, right? Read the rest of my review after the jump!
Reading the summary of the movie, it almost reads like some Ang Lee-directed drama, where someone may die, bad things occur, life lessons are learned, and people learn life lessons, but the audience leaves the film depressed. Of course, this isn’t Ang Lee, this is Mike Judge, so this isn’t a drama, but more of a dramedy.
Extract has some laugh out loud moments and, because of the complete ridiculousness of the situations, rather than being such a serious drama, you end up laughing at otherwise serious situations. And, make no mistake, this film is funny, and even funnier if you’re married. This film is speaking to a specific audience, much like Office Space, who’ll appreciate the humor more, but there’s still plenty for everyone to enjoy. The acting is solid all around, with the small Affleck scenes really being the highlights of the film. Bateman has mastered the art of playing the straight man, but sometimes I’d really prefer to see him break loose from that and play someone a little crazier (like he did in Smoking Aces).
You probably don’t need to run out to the theaters to see Extract, but when it comes on DVD, if you’re married and can take a good joke about it, you should definitely check it out. Plenty to enjoy, even if it’s not the riotous laugh-out-loud comedy of the year.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 7 out of 10!