Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Company Men

The Company Men is a decent movie. Not great, but decent and worth renting. It's rated R for some crude language.

Ben Affleck plays Bobby Walker, a successful Boston (where else?) executive who suddenly finds himself without a job when his employer, GTX Corporation, downsizes. Thousands of GTX employees around the country are laid off. Eventually Walker's boss, played by the great Tommie Lee Jones, gets the axe too. So does Phil Woodward, played well by Chris Cooper (shown in photo), only he can't cope with being out of work in his 60s and, sadly, ends up taking his own life.

The movie is written, produced, and directed by John Wells, who up to this point mostly worked in television. It kind of shows. I didn't quite feel the angst of the characters. It seemed a little like a TV movie.

Nevertheless, The Company Men sends an important message. When the bottom falls out, you need to have invested sufficiently in your family so you can weather the storm together. And you need some friends. And you need to somehow be able to keep moving forward. And, although he's conspicuously absent here, you need God.

While Bobby Walker hangs on to his family, friends, and fortitude, his colleague Phil Woodward has none of those props. He is the shell of a man who, as they say, spent his life climbing the ladder of success only to find (too late) that it had been leaning against the wrong wall. He is like the rich fool of Luke 12:16-21 who stored up things for himself but was not rich toward God. He is Edwin Arlington Robinson's Richard Cory. In the end, when Phil lost his job he lost everything.

Bobby, on the other hand, has loved his wife well. There are touching scenes of them leaning on each other as a husband and wife should. It seems, however, Bobby had been slowly growing apart from his teenage son. Bobby's loss of a job turns out to be an invitation to get reacquainted with his son, and that's a good thing. Bobby Walker reminds us that home is not necessarily a house.

As Jesus said, the rain will come, the streams will rise, and the winds of affliction will blow against the houses we build (Matthew 7:24-27). It's not a matter of if, but when. If your house is not built on the Rock, it won't stand.

"On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand."

1 comment:

Philip said...

I like it Mike, even if you spoiled the movie now! No, I'll have to check it out sometime.