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It’d be easy to dismiss ‘Management’ as yet another goofy indie comedy about a maladjusted loner pursuing the reticent but eventually lovestruck girl of his dreams. Mike (Steve Zahn) is adrift in his parents’ Arizona motel until he meets Jennifer Aniston’s frosty saleswoman, Sue, and falls, unwisely, in love. Their courtship is awkward, then unwanted, then simply bizarre, taking in Buddhist monasteries, parachute jumps over Kurt Cobain’s hometown and Woody Harrelson as a violent ex-punk yoghurt magnate who trains pitbulls.

As this brief synopsis indicates, there’s a fair amount that annoys here, not least a scrappy, undisciplined plot and the kind of self-involved characters to whom it takes  a while to warm. But there’s more to Stephen Belber’s debut than just manufactured  whimsy, not least a wise and witty script, and some beautifully sketched side characters supporting two reliably charming leads. Not one for hardened cynics, perhaps, but a guilty pleasure for the rest of us.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday September 25 2009
Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stephen Belber
Cast: Woody Harrelson
James Hiroyuki Liao
Tzi Ma
Margo Martindale
Mark Boone Junior
Kevin Heffernan
Steve Zahn
Fred Ward
Jennifer Aniston
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The Time Out London review just about pegs it. Guilty pleasure, uneven, with annoying aspects, but there's something ineffably loving about it all, despite that stuff.