Office Space soundtrack

Office Space

Office Space is an American comedy film, released in 1999, that was written and directed by Mike Judge. It satirizes work life in a typical software company during the 1990s, focusing on a handful of individuals who are fed up with their jobs. The film's sympathetic portrayal of ordinary IT workers garnered it a cult following among those in that profession, but also addresses themes familiar to office workers and employees in general. It was filmed in Dallas and Austin.

Office Space is based on the Milton series of cartoons created by Mike Judge. Office Space was Mike Judge's foray into live action film and his second full length motion picture release (the first being the animated Beavis and Butt-head Do America). The promotional campaign for Office Space often associated it with Beavis and Butt-head, ensuring that audiences would expect a brand of humor similar to that of the creator's previous animated efforts, rather than the relatively low-key ironic humor of the film.

While not a box office success, the film has become a cult classic; it has since sold very well on video and DVD, and some of the movie's dialogue has entered into the popular lexicon since its release.


The film is centered around a group of employees at Initech, a typical faceless software company, which plagued by excessive management and the everyday annoyance of office work in a cube farm setting. Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) is a disgruntled programmer who spends his days "staring at (his) desk" instead of reprogramming bank software for the Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu), whose name can't be pronounced by anybody else; Michael Bolton (David Herman), who detests sharing the name of real-life singer whom he hates; and Milton Waddams (Stephen Root), a mumbling, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself. All four are repeatedly bullied by management, especially Initech's callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). The staff are agitated by the arrival of two consultants "The Bobs" (John C. McGinley and Paul Willson) who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing

Peter is depressed, bored and pushed around at work, he attends an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his girlfriend Anne (Alexandra Wentworth). The obese "occupational hypnotherapist", Dr. Swanson, (Mike McShane), suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter wakes up the next morning and ignores continued calls from Anne (who leaves him) and Lumbergh (who was expecting Peter to work over the weekend). Peter announces that he will simply not go to work anymore, instead pursuing his lifelong dream of "doing nothing", and finally asks out Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), a waitress he's long wanted to date.

Despite his lack of attendance at work, he is promoted by The Bobs while Michael and Samir are fired. To exact revenge on Initech, the three friends decide to infect the accounting system with a computer virus, designed to divert fractions of pennies into a bank account they control (see salami slicing). A misplaced decimal point means the virus steals hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first few days, a far more conspicuous loss to Initech. After a crisis of conscience, Peter writes a letter in which he takes all the blame for the crime, then slips an envelope containing the letter and the money in unsigned Traveler's checks under the door of Lumbergh's office when he's not there, expecting to be arrested soon afterward.

However, all of their problems are solved when Milton snaps after being increasingly ignored and marginalized throughout the film, and sets fire to the Initech office building. Peter finally finds a job that he likes: working construction with his next-door neighbor, Lawrence (Diedrich Bader), cleaning up the rubble of Initech and Samir and Michael get jobs at Initrode, a rival company. While cleaning up the debris, Peter finds Milton's red stapler and keeps it, saying that he knows someone who could use it (i.e. Milton).

The very last scene of the film shows that Milton has made his way to a resort in Mexico, living large off the checks he had found (before setting the fire) in the envelope Peter had left in Lumbergh's office.


Artie Lange also auditioned for the role of Milton. He describes his audition as being so bad it was "like a plumber who won a radio contest and got to try out for a movie".


Filmed primarily in Austin, Texas, the origins for Office Space lie in a series of four animated short films about an office drone named Milton that Mike Judge created, which first aired on Liquid Television and Night After Night with Allan Havey, and later aired on Saturday Night Live. The inspiration came from a temp job he once had that involved alphabetizing purchase orders and a job he had as an engineer for three months in the Bay Area during the 1980s, "just in the heart of Silicon Valley and in the middle of that overachiever yuppie thing, it was just awful". The setting of the film reflected a prevailing trend that Judge observed in the United States. "It seems like every city now has these identical office parks with identical adjoining chain restaurants", he said in an interview. He remembers, "There were a lot of people who wanted me to set this movie in Wall Street, or like the movie Brazil, but I wanted it very unglamorous, the kind of bleak work situation like I was in".

Judge sold the film to 20th Century Fox based on his script and a cast that included Jennifer Aniston, Ron Livingston, and David Herman. Originally, the studio wanted to make a movie out of the Milton character but Judge was not interested, opting instead to make more of an ensemble cast–based film. The studio suggested he make a movie like Car Wash but "just set in an office". Judge made the relatively painless transition from animation to live-action with the help of the film's director of photography who taught him about lenses and where to put the camera. Judge says, "I had a great crew, and it's good going into it not pretending you're an expert".


Office Space was released on February 19, 1999 in 1,740 theatres, grossing USD $4.2 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.8 million in North America, barely recouping its production costs.

The film received mixed to positive reviews with a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 68 metascore on Metacritic. In his review in the New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote, "It has the loose-jointed feel of a bunch of sketches packed together into a narrative that doesn't gather much momentum". Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote that Judge, "treats his characters a little like cartoon creatures. That works. Nuances of behavior are not necessary, because in the cubicle world every personality trait is magnified, and the captives stagger forth like grotesques". In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle writes, "Livingston is nicely cast as Peter, a young guy whose imagination and capacity for happiness are the very things making him miserable". In the USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna wrote, "If you've ever had a job, you'll be amused by this paean to peons".

However, Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C" rating and criticized it for feeling "cramped and underimagined". In his review for the Globe and Mail, Rick Groen wrote, "Perhaps his TV background makes him unaccustomed to the demands of a feature-length script (the ending seems almost panicky in its abruptness); or maybe he just succumbs to the lure of the easy yuk . . . what began as discomfiting satire soon devolves into silly farce".

However, the film has become a cult classic and has sold very well on video and DVD, and some of the movie's dialogue has entered into the popular lexicon since its release.

Entertainment Weekly ranked it 5th on their Funniest Movies of the Past 25 Years list.


Track listing

  1. "Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee" (Canibus/Biz Markie) - 4:21
  2. "Get Dis Money" (Slum Village) - 3:36
  3. "Get Off My Elevator" (Kool Keith) - 3:46
  4. "Big Boss Man" (Junior Reid) - 3:46
  5. "9-5" (Lisa Stone) - 3:40
  6. "Down for Whatever" (Ice Cube) - 4:40
  7. "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" (Geto Boys) - 5:09
  8. "Home" (Blackman/Destruct/Icon) - 4:22
  9. "No Tears" (Scarface) - 2:27
  10. "Still" (Geto Boys) - 4:03
  11. "Mambo #8" (Perez Prado) - 2:06
  12. "Peanut Vendor" (Perez Prado) - 2:39

See also


External links

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