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.