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Grow up, adapt, survive and if you’re lucky, try to thrive as well. That is what you can only hope to achieve in life, and that is what nearly every character tries to do in Get a Job.
Rating: TV Viewing
With negative views already around, I was honestly expecting something bad. However, Miles Teller has yet, to me anyway, released a true clunker. With that said, though, while this movie is certainly better than I expected, the writers’ decisions when it comes to employing jokes over substance, as well as the way the female characters are handled, did bring the movie down a bit.
Main Storyline (with Commentary)
At the heart of the movie is a very weak commentary about the expectations of millennials and seemingly our need to grow the hell up. Take Will (Miles Teller), our lead, for example. He is supposed to be the example of the kid who got an award for showing up or doing what he was supposed to do. Will is the guy who has found himself almost handed everything he ever has asked for until he gets laid off. From there it is one person after another, from his father Roger (Bryan Cranston) to girlfriend Jillian (Anna Kendrick) pretty much telling him to grow up.
Yet, those two find themselves in a similar position to Will. For while they both are presented as capable adults, they then find themselves unemployed. So while Will finds himself growing up, those two find themselves adapting. They aren’t alone, though. Will’s friends Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Charlie (Nicholas Braun) and Luke (Brandon T. Jackson) are all trying to adapt to their chosen career fields. In fact, when it comes to Luke he is trying to survive. For while in his office he may not be dealing with racial issues or anything like that, he is in desperate need to not only prove himself but consistently do so. As for the other two? They seem pretty set, and yet they are bouncing back and forth between adapting and learning to thrive. Thus leaving us with a film which tries to illustrate how complicated it can be entering the job market, much less getting out of it, all the while doing something you love and truly enjoying it.
There are times in the film in which it seems to want to genuinely focus on the issues which come from job searching, feeling worthless when fired or when you can’t find anything, and how that can affect someone either young or old.
Yet then comes Alison Brie’s character Tanya. Someone who seems like she is in the wrong movie for with all her innuendo you feel quickly taken out of the idea this is a semi-serious movie which has some desire to be a comic take on a post-college life. For between her talking about her boss’ penis, wanting to be spanked, and more, Tanya seems like she would more so fit in a Seth Rogen movie than this one.
While I loved the role Katherine Dunn (Marcia Gay Harden) originally played in Will’s life, for she is the one who becomes like a mentor to Will and forces him to grow up, I hate how they left the character. In many ways, I wished they could have kept Katherine as aggressive as she was, and as ambitious as she was, without having to take her down a notch. They could have easily kept her as she seemed and made Will just realize that he doesn’t want to work for anyone, or just really can’t handle working in a corporate environment due to office politics and things of that nature. To me, that would have been better than her talking about how she owns him, trying to promote him to a job he was ridiculously unqualified for, and his come up of showing her having sex with the CEO at the office Christmas party. That degradation to me, while perhaps funny to somebody, I think showed how this movie really didn’t want to develop its female characters as much as the men.
Which reminds me, while Jillian seems like she maybe level with Will, it comes to a point where she straight up just devolves into a love interest. I mean, even with the movie noting she bounces back, eventually, from being fired, we aren’t told what she does. We just see her at the head of the table and are left to write an ending for her ourselves as we see Will and his friends have clear endings and learn Roger’s got back the stability he wanted.