Mike continues to pursue Sue with the help of Al (James Hiroyuki Liao, in a breakout performance), a fellow loser who empathizes with Mike's plight. Al is more interested in getting stoned than he is in his restaurant job, but he sticks close to Mike. Their friendship is one of the more affecting relationships in the film.

Each character in Management is troubled, and each has a need—friendship, romance and rest, just to name a few. As with the big indie hit Juno, the characters' choices are sometimes sinful, and the consequences of those choices are treated in too lighthearted a manner, when a more gloomy outcome easily could be imagined.

But Management is a romantic comedy, not a serious drama. We want Mike to win Sue, even when it seems she's gone too far with someone else in pursuit of her own faulty ideas of a strong, secure relationship. Somehow, we know this slight story will bring these two souls together.

That might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but in a year of movies that have rarely risen to the level of mediocre, the pleasures of Management make it a standout choice among other theatrical offerings.


Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@verizon.net.

CAUTIONS:

  • Smoking/Drinking:  Frequent smoking; Mike vows to quit cigarettes more than once; Mike brings wine and champagne to Sue's room, and they taste it together; Mike sips liquor through a straw; while drunk, Mike works up his courage to buy a plane ticket across country to track down Sue; drinking at a bar.
  • Language/Profanity:  Lord's name taken in vain; occasional foul language, including the "f" word; the word "pawn" is misunderstood as "porn"; a man tells another man that a rock guitarist likely "made love to your mother"; two men serenade a woman with Bad Company's song, "Feel Like Makin' Love."
  • Sex/Nudity:  Suggestive language about activities among the motel guests; Mike tells Sue she has "a nice butt," and she allows Mike to touch it; kissing; characters undress each other and have sex, which is not shown; a woman receives a massage from her boyfriend; suggestive dancing.
  • Violence:  A man shoots another man with a BB gun.
  • Religion:  Sue says her father left to live in an ashram; Mike becomes a Buddhist monk, but is asked to leave the monastery because he is too attached to the world.