Perhaps recognizing this, Hollywood has drafted Mike Judge - creator of "King of the Hill" and "Beavis and Butt-head" - to satirize corporate America in the movie "Office Space."
Judge wrote and directed the movie. He wrote it well, and directed it badly.
"Office Space" has several funny bits, but the actors are obviously lost, and most have a hard time breaking through the flat surface that cartoonist Judge has drawn for them.
The movie stars Ron Livingston as a software drone at a bland technology firm where a half-dozen bosses scold him for putting the wrong cover sheet on his "TPS report."
He is on the verge of a personal and career crisis when, at a therapy session, a mishap leaves him semi-permanently hypnotized.
In this state, he feels invulnerable. He tells off his oily boss (Gary Cole), and delivers a brutally frank corporate critique to the downsizer (John C. McGinley) brought in to slash the work force.
All of this works well. The mystery is why Judge abandons it, and switches to a clunky plot about corporate espionage.
His story has no real shape, and he wastes the comic ability of Jennifer Aniston on a role that is small, shallow and, worst of all, way overclothed.
OFFICE SPACE - Grade: C
Parents' guide - R; obscene language
Running time: 86 minutes
Showing at: Area theaters
Peter - Ron Livingston
Joanna - Jennifer Aniston
Bill - Gary Cole
Bob - John C. McGinley
Produced by Daniel Rappaport and Michael Rotenberg, written and directed by Mike Judge, distributed by 20th Century Fox.