My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “I loved this flick, it made me cry. Funny too!”
Jennifer Aniston may get top billing in this romantic comedy, but MANAGEMENT belongs to Steve Zahn. The often goofy, always likable actor plays Mike Cranshaw, a man with little ambition but lots of heart who works at his parents’ motel in small-town Arizona. When paint-saleswoman Sue Claussen (Aniston) stops at the inn, Mike immediately plots an awkward plan to seduce her. Things go better than either of them would have guessed, but Sue still leaves for her home in Maryland.
Mike impulsively follows her east, beginning an uncomfortable but heartfelt courtship that takes the road less traveled. Sue’s move from Maryland to Washington does little to deter Mike, but the reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, ex-punk Jango (Woody Harrelson), could throw him off course. MANAGEMENT balances its star power (A-list actress Aniston) with its indie roots (theatrical distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films) to make a movie that doesn’t fit the rubric of either genre. It’s too quirky for a studio film, but it’s sweet enough that it shouldn’t scare away any fans of Aniston’s work in FRIENDS and HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. She’s more in the territory of THE GOOD GIRL and FRIENDS WITH MONEY here, and Sue is a complicated part that Aniston pulls off. In his other roles, Zahn often labors in the background and steals scenes from actors with higher billing, but MANAGEMENT is indisputably a leading role for the actor. His Mike commits acts bordering on criminal (or at least crazy) in his cross-country pursuit of Sue, but thanks to Zahn’s performance, it’s hard not to feel devoted to his character and to understand Sue’s (reluctant) attraction. Fans of the cringe-worthy humor of comedies like THE OFFICE will enjoy squirming through this unlikely romance.