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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> March 2000 >> In the Company of Men

In the Company of Men

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
March 2000
IMDB Name:
In the Company of Men (1997)
Neil LaBute
MPAA Rating:
R for language and emotional abuse.

Hard to Stomach

Looking back now on what little I wrote about Your Friends & Neighbors, I see that the film made me sufficiently uncomfortable that I wasn't able to tackle the essence of the film. Writer / director Neil LaBute specializes in mining the worst that human nature has to offer. He has some special font of evil ink with which to paint his characters, and here uses it to create the venemous Chad, played skillfully by Aaron Eckhart. A creature of absolutely no conscience, Chad wreaks havoc at every opportunity, and it's awful to watch, knowing that somewhere out there, there are Chads in the real world. It's worse to watch a skilled manipulator like Chad take a comparative innocent like Howard and turn him into just as inhumane a person, just for kicks.

The only other roles of any consequence in In the Company of Men are played by Matt Malloy and Stacy Edwards. LaBute is more tender in the creation of their characters, but merciless in the treatment of them. Both actors do a credible job with the emotions called for by the plot. Matt Malloy also makes an appearance in Election, although I'm having trouble seeing the resemblance. It's amazing what a difference the hair makes. Eckhart went on to be in Your Friends & Neighbors, though as a comparative innocent.

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.