Get a Job, 2016.
Directed by Dylan Kidd.
Starring Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Braun, Brandon T. Jackson, Alison Brie, Jorge Gargia, Jay Pharoah, Bruce Davison, Ravi Patel, Aaron Hill, Seth Morris, Marc Maron, John C. McGinley, Marcia Gay Harden, Greg Germann, Cameron Richardson, and John Cho.
Life after college graduation is not exactly going as planned for Will and Jillian who find themselves lost in a sea of increasingly strange jobs. But with help from their family, friends and coworkers they soon discover that the most important (and hilarious) adventures are the ones that we don’t see coming.
Get a Job‘s very first joke is a freeze-frame shot of Miles Teller’s character as a child, surrounded by his family on the toilet after dropping his first deuce, delivering a voiceover monologue about receiving congratulations and physical rewards for every non-accomplishment in life. The humor itself wasn’t very funny, but the quick gag (part of a larger montage) at least seemed to promise a movie with more stimulating themes on its mind; ideas regarding life in the post economic collapse, and young millennials finding work and their place in life after graduating college.
Also featured is a very talented cast of actors (the aforementioned Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, Bryan Cranston to name a few), meaning it’s hard to imagine that the movie will be a true catastrophic abomination. Then within a minute or so you realize that Miles Teller looks like he has de-aged quite a few years (I just recently saw him in The Divergent Series: Allegiant), and come to the realization that Get a Job is a movie that has been shelved by studios for an alarming length, hinting that it probably will fall apart and won’t contain any substance.
There is physical substance however, as one of the stoners experiencing real work for the first time is part of a hazing ritual to down a glass of deer semen for a desk job promotion, proving that just like I suspected, there was seriously something wrong with Get a Job for it to be put on hiatus for four years and only receive a VOD release even though it touts a cast full of quite bankable modern stars. The toilet humor doesn’t end there though, as there is also a scene where Miles Teller has to rush a drug test using his father’s (Bryan Cranston) urine.
It’s highly frustrating that the amateurish writers slip so far down the path of juvenile comedy, because not only is there an interesting idea to explore at the center of the narrative, there are also quite a few strokes of good comedic writing. Most notably is a scene where Miles Teller takes advantage of the free buffet at a strip club. That’s one joke though that lands in a movie full of mean-spirited, stereotypical, and cliché humor.
Even the group of friends depicted are rather unlikable, considering that it’s hard to root for screw-ups that probably don’t deserve anything good to come their way. They really just sit around and play Halo: Anniversary, indulge in recreational drugs, watch porn, and generally don’t take being an adult seriously. Furthermore, that’s exactly what Get a Job should be striving to accomplish; finding that balance between young upstarts getting their footing in life but will inevitably make mistakes, and presenting them as working-class citizens with something to contribute to society.
It’s essentially like watching a Judd Apatow reminiscing comedy, where done of the slackers here have any likable personality traits. One character played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse annoyingly harps on about creating an app to locate people stalk and locate others against their will, with none of the other characters acknowledging it or seeming to care how wrong it is. The closest the movie comes to having people with redeemable qualities are Anna Kendrick’s girlfriend character (she basically supports Miles Teller but also serves as his moral compass in a way that rings true as effective towards the finale), and Bryan Cranston playing a good intending dad going through a job crisis, even with his copious amounts of valuable professional experience.
Everyone else is either unlikable or played up as a ridiculous stereotype (many of the supporting female characters seemingly exist to exploit some lazy sexual comedy, with one of Miles Teller’s coworkers played by Alison Brie obsessed with wanting to fornicate even though he is clearly in a committed relationship), but oddly enough it’s the middle-school chemistry teacher (that also takes up basketball tutelage for extra weed cash) of the group that is surprisingly charming. He seems to be the only character that for the duration of the running time, understands he is a goofball, accepts his place in life, and even has things going well for him. He also delivers a great speech towards the end that, even though it fails, brings the film full circle to its thesis that maybe giving everyone a prize for the most pointless of endeavors, even losing, isn’t the right way to go about building confidence and the future of bright-minded young citizens.
Still, as previously mentioned, 90% of everything that could have made Get a Job a potentially great and insightful comedy regarding the life transition from college to the workforce, is abandoned in favor of some of the laziest attempts at comedy imaginable. Some bits scrape the bottom of the barrel so hard that I dare to say it is a career low for Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, and Bryan Cranston. They even look uninterested in the performances and characters, and honestly, who can blame them? Get a Job went horribly wrong somewhere during production.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★