The co-director of the much witty, funny and dramatic “About a Boy”, Paul Weitz takes the leadership. Yes the above plot points happen in that series. But you see, this is not about the plot. It is a marketing strategy which appears to be from studio to promote the film. Essentially this is a character study of two men. One even though at the edge of this career, an old school ad salesman believes in what he does and the other who starts his career and already has tasted enormous success. This does not make him a smug, misdirected may be. It does put Dan in a position both financially and personally in dire situation with a baby on his way. He is bitter about knowing the fact how fast his life is changing and how old his daughters are getting. And he is getting old too.
Dan is the complete guy. He is happily married and has wonderful daughters. He is good in balancing his personal and professional life. You see it when Alex comes for tennis in his office on the day of re-organization; he is stressed but goes with her. When Carter ramps up ideas in their first conference meeting about combining with sister companies to promote the magazine, Dan asks whether it is not cheating. He is irritated but there is a truth in that. He sums it up in an end complimenting the belief he is been doing for 23 years. Both the personalities have personal and career challenge to tackle. Dan coping up with his daughter moving away while Carter with his divorce. The editing work by Myron I. Kerstein puts those changes side by side. There is not much difference happening out here but how each deal with it develops the story. Dan as the seasoned but yet pulling the weights more than he is supposed to keeps on going. Carter is filled with adrenaline and we come to know that he never really has been personal with any one. His life is fast paced and in the middle of it, forgets to see his life out of office go unnoticed.
Both are terrific salesman but Dan leaves his work at his office. The corporate culture created in the new world is dog eating dog strategy. Vocabulary of high phonetic word reeking positive energy is the trend. “Changing the world”, “Revolutionizing the human technology” or “Restructuring a better world”. Are these slogans for independence? Is this a rights movement? Nope, it is all for money. And Dan puts it straight on to shatter the spell cast on every one, mostly Carter. “Love your job, not your company” are the words said by CEO of Infosys, Mr. Narayan Moorthy.
This is the significance of the film. It never moves in haste nor is in the hunt for melodramatic twists to end sweetly. The other persons in these two people’s life are the key to fully see this whole chain of events in between them. Things we know are left unsaid. Director gauges his audience as intelligent personal and concentrates on points which a routine film might miss. The third act hinted on the oncoming “hence the theorem is proved” ending. It had the events which were perfect as rest of the movie but in reality they would have been scenes of burying the film in other motion pictures. The film finishes staying honest to it.
The small roles in particular scenes help the movie to come out from the mould. When Alex and Carter (un)expectedly meet before the end, there is another character Morty (David Paymer) who Carter enquires before seeing Alex. Morty does not know about the relationship of these two and learns as they talk. Now see there is this awkwardness being created in between these three. He immediately intervenes with a dialogue which not only breaks that but we get to know a little about Morty too. That is how the script is inured up to precision.
Topher Grace to the surprise sheds out his Eric from “That 70s Show” sitcom comfortably. He brings in the boyish charm he had over for Eric but loyally gives Carter, a reputed sales executive and a successful energetic young man. His body language is professional but his emotional incapability of Carter is what the film ponders upon. On the other hand, Dennis Quaid is such a fit for a happy family man. Part of the reason in “Frequency” that we really want nothing to happen to his family is the stature, boldness and fragility Quaid brings upon. Now here is another of the same kind but Dan Foreman is different from Frank Sullivan. We know why Dennis Quaid is cast but he makes Paul Weitz realize why he is the perfect man for the job.
Sometimes it is hurtful when films like this are missed due to its advertisements. I miss those because of my judgments but the trailer is designed such a way to lure audience. I am sure it worked and may be lot of people would have been disappointed too. It is interesting to know that the film which puts current marketing in question of its moral, the trailer shows that. Universal Pictures is a company too.