Review of Management


Movie Review: "Management"

-- Rating: R (for language)
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2009
Directed by: Stephen Belber
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance

"Management" is a fascinating romantic comedy-drama portraying a traveling art salesperson who tries to get away from a motel manager who falls in love with her and will not leave her alone. This is a common happening in the world today. Almost everyone, at some point, has been through something similar to this-although perhaps not to the degree of this film. "Management" captures the essence of the humor and romance that occur when trying to run away from someone.

"Management" is written and directed by Stephen Belber ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") and produced by Sidney Kimmel, Wyck Godfrey, and Marty Bowen. Belber directs two accomplished actors in Steve Zahn ("National Security" and "Daddy Day Care") and Jennifer Aniston ("Friends" and "Bruce Almighty"). The storyline, filled with humorous situations, provides a look into something romantic, heartfelt, and familiar. Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston) plays an attractive traveling salesperson who sells corporate art. She checks into a motel for a short stay, and shortly after, Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) gives her a bottle of wine, "compliments of management." Mike, an annoying, persistent, and somewhat similar to a stalker, is the night manager. He insists they drink the wine together. Sue, being polite, accepts. After the wine is finished, she asks Mike to leave.

The next day, Mike returns and tries the same trick with cheap champagne. Sue agrees and shortly lets Mike touch her butt. As she is about to return home, she decides to return to Mike and have sex with him in the laundry room.

After Sue finally leaves the motel, Mike realizes he has more feelings for her than he previously thought. He flies to her home in Baltimore. Sue, not knowing he would come, is shocked, but out of her hospitality, lets him stay with her until the next morning. This time, the two get to know each other better and become friends. Mike returns home, but later Sue decides to stay in the motel again. The two go out and have fun together. After some talking, Mike convinces Sue to meet his sick mother. Mike's mother tells him that she approves of Sue and that he needs to find happiness in his life. Shortly after Sue leaves, Mike's mother passes away. He decides to listen to her words and find his happiness. He goes after Sue.

Sadly, Mike finds out Sue has gotten back together with Jango (Woody Harrelson, "Cheers"), a former punk rocker who is now a successful businessperson. Mike gets a job at a Chinese restaurant in his new city and becomes friends with Al (James Hiroyuki Liao, "Prison Break"), the son of the owner. Al's family allows Mike to stay in the restaurant's basement.

Mike, being spontaneous, jumps into Sue and Jango's pool to surprise her, but Jango decides to have his own fun by attacking Mike with an airsoft gun. Afterwards, Jango feels sorry for what he has done and invites Mike and Al to dinner. However, Jango finds out about Mike's intentions with Sue and threatens him. Mike, knowing the danger he is in, sings a song for Sue outside her window the same night. The next day, Sue meets up with Mike to tell him she is getting married to Jango and is pregnant. She tells Mike she wants someone who is in control of his life.

Out of anger towards Sue, Mike spends the next four months in a Buddhist monastery. Afterwards, Mike returns to the motel. Mike's father, who owns the establishment, talks to Mike about moving on with their lives and hands him the deed. Using Sue's inspiration from previous conversations, Mike turns the motel into a homeless shelter. He calls Sue to tell her the good news, but Jango answers the phone. To his much surprise, Jango tells Mike that Sue has left him and she is living with her mother. Mike goes to Sue's home and asks her to help him with the shelter as they reveal their love for one another.

"Management" is full of heartbreak, but it ends in romance and happiness. The script is written to almost perfection as it captures all of the audiences senses. If you are a fan of romantic comedies and do not want your everyday chick flick, "Management" is for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5