***/**** Image B Sound A- Extras B
starring Dennis Quaid, Scarlett Johansson, Topher Grace, Marg Helgenberger
written and directed by Paul Weitz
by Walter Chaw A film about what happens when Benjamin Braddock decides to pursue a career in plastics, Paul Weitz's flawed In Good Company (its title, formerly Synergy, may be the worst thing about it) boasts a distinct human quality that lends depth where there might not otherwise be any. It's bolstered by the central trio of performers: Topher Grace, continuing his winning streak; Dennis Quaid, affecting in the kind of role that Harrison Ford should be doing now instead of Indiana Jones; and Scarlett Johansson, rapidly growing into something like a national treasure. And though Weitz is too in love with the extreme close-up, his tactic of displacing his characters in various visual terrariums does a good job of suggesting just how isolating it can be to balance breaking your back for a job you don't particularly like with enjoying the people for whom you do it in the first place. At its heart, In Good Company is a love song to hoary old axioms concerning love, loyalty, and honour--its charms are old-fashioned and its bromides, if not entirely unexpected, are at least earned.