Sometimes, we watch movies to escape reality. But for those who toil away their hours at a 9 to 5, sometimes it can be therapeutic to watch our struggles on screen. When films showcase the most ridiculous aspects of corporate life, or make fun of the mundane ways we pass time in our cubicles, it can be therapeutic.
When The Intern hits theaters on September 25, it will be the latest in a long line of films about office life. And it hits on a common theme many office workers have experienced — the divide between seasoned pros and the up-and-coming young professionals. It also deals with the stress of uncertainty about your career or your future. Here are five other great Hollywood films that show what life is like in the American workplace.
1. Office Space
This offbeat comedy from Mike Judge is the film by which all other films about work should be measured. Office Space provides blisteringly funny commentary on the most ridiculous parts of corporate life, from mandatory birthday cake to TPS reports. It follows Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), an underwhelmed IT programmer who barely tolerates his commute, his bosses, and their endless memos and TPS reports. That is, until he’s hypnotized into not caring at all. What follows is pure comedy magic.
It wasn’t initially a commercial success when it was released in 1999, but it’s since earned cult status. Office Space works on multiple levels. It’s highly effective as a satirical look at corporate culture, because it so closely mirrors so much of what those who work there experience. It’s also side-splittingly funny in its exploration of the lengths people will go to in order to get away from their dead-end day jobs. And it also showcases the genuine bond that cubicle-mates end up forming while commiserating over their mundane plight.