Friday, May 29, 2009

This Motels Management Takes Extra Care Of It's Guests

Small market movies have given us reason to laugh, cry and stand up and cheer, and they have gotten their reward as well. Slumdog Millionaire was last years Cinderella motion picture and went on to win several Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Motion Picture. Some movies are made just to entertain the audience they hit a cord in our lives and are then gone just as quickly. "Management" a quiet little gem delivers on this note.

Management chronicles the chance meeting of Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) who is a loner type and works the over night shift at his parents motel. Trish (Margo Martindale) and Jerry (Fred Ward) run a small roadside motel in Arizona, and one day Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston), a traveling art saleswoman registers to stay there overnight. Mike is immediately drawn to her. Using the guise of free wine Mike drops by Sue's room, once inside he pretends that the motel usually gives wine to it's guest. Sue being a nicer person allows Mike to come in. Sue will regret this almost right away. The big mistake was in allowing Mike to touch her butt. She does this thinking that maybe he will just go, what he does is the last thing she expects. Then later she will do the last thing she would ever believe she was capable of doing.

The next morning as Sue is getting ready to leave she makes the biggest mistake of her life, one she won't regret for a few days, but one she will find was what she really wanted all along, she goes into the laundry room with Mike and passion ensues. Sue leaves for Maryland right after they are done, Mike who is now thunder struck decides that he has found the one true love of his life, he thinks that his life had been going nowhere working in a nowhere little motel and he is determined to follow her home and tell her he is in love with her. When he gets to Maryland he is a fish out of water, the one thing he thinks he can do is just be honest and tell Sue what she means to him. Arriving at her company Sue is surprised to see him, she tells him that he has to go back home, that she has no room for anyone in her life right now. Mike is crushed and asks her to just spend the day with him, and then he will leave. Sue who is obsessed with making her life count for something decides that she needs stability and turns to the one man she does think she can count on, Jango (Woody Harrelson) is an ex punk rocker turned Yogurt mogul who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend. Sue thinks the life she will have being a bride will allow her to concentrate on making a difference in other peoples lives. He has proposed to Sue and thinking that she will take control of his company, Sue accepts his proposal thinking this way she can do the most good for the most people.

Mike believing he has finally found the one woman that he just can't live without, comes to the understanding that just working at his parents motel he will just rot away in the slow daily routine that he forces himself to endure. Making the only choice that he feels he has left, for a shot at happiness Mike goes back to Maryland, unfortunately he finds out that Sue is now back with Jango, broken hearted and almost broke Mike takes a job in a Chinese restaurant, meeting Al (James Hiroyuki Liao) who tells Mike to go for it, to just tell Sue how he feels. He does this one night by singing Sue a song, right out side of her window, and this is the movies funniest scene, there are several but this is one that you will remember long after it is over. In another of the movies memorable scenes Mike skydives into Jango's pool and is rescued by Jango himself. Feeling insecure about Mike and Sue's relationship Jango pays a visit to the restaurant and tells Mike to leave Sue alone. Taking his advice to heart Mike feels his only option is to just head back to where he can be himself, home and the family that accepts him as he is. Going back home Mike feels that his life couldn't get any worse until Sue stops in again, he tells her that his parents have given him the motel and he wants to give it to her to fulfill one of her dreams, this is a touching moment and the two stars play it to the max. The ending is of course one we see from the start but it works because of the chemistry between Aniston & Zahn works so well, the smaller character roles work because they seem to fit right in, the sadness of the characters can be felt in their motions and words, this is hard to do, it's even harder to do right.

I give Management a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0, this is one of those slow down and enjoy movies, it is cute and enjoyable, go check into this little roadside motel and watch the sparks fly. Steve Zahn has been in several small movies and is quietly making a name for himself, though this movie won't contend for any Oscars it may be one of the more widely missed movie of 2009.

Management is rated R for Language
Running time is 1 hr. 33 mins.

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