Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) owns Reyonld's Extract, an extract company that he started on his own. It's a successful business with a "family" atmosphere, e.g. Joel knows the name of everyone of his employees, Joel's office is easily accessible by anyone, and one side filled with windows that can be seen from the manufacturing floor. It seems that Joel has a good life, but Joel is frustrated. His wife, Suzie (Kristin Wiig) has been keeping him sexually frustrated for months on end. He likes his company, but he works so much that he believes it's one of the contributing factors in his wife's lack of interest. He has an annoying neighbor, named Nathan (David Koechner), that snoops around and won't leave him alone. Then General Mills calls with a proposed buyout. Joel begins to believe he will be able to retire wealthy and spend more time with his wife. All of that becomes endangered when a loyal employee, Step (Clifton Collins, Jr.) is the victim of a freak accident. A female drifting con named Cindy (Mila Kunis) learns about the accident. She gets a temp job at Reynold's and flirts with Joel. Meanwhile, she secretly begins dating Step in an attempt to get him to sue Reynold's Extract for millions of dollars. Joel doesn't know what to do and seeks help from his drugged-out best friend, Dean (Ben Affleck) which leads to a series of farcical events.
There are some well done performances in the movie. Jason Bateman is usually always a joy to watch. He's typecast as the good father who is just trying to build a good life but is surrounded by crazy family and friends, but no one can play that role so well. Ben Affleck gives one of his best performances in years; Affleck plays crazy kooks much better than he does dramatic, serious leading men. Mila Kunis is very pretty, but Cindy really isn't much more than a plot device. Kristin Wiig is a really funny actress, but other than one or two moments her comedic abilities are restrained. Some will probably be disappointed by that, but I was glad to see Wiig in a role that isn't over-the-top.
EXTRACT is a quite little film. There are some comically absurd moments, but there's also a layer of humor that is much more subtle. There's a lot of warmth in the movie. In fact, if one were to extract some of the more outrageous moments of the movie, EXTRACT reminds me of some of the comedies from the late 1930s-1940s. The character development and much of the humor is subdued. It's a type of humor that in our in-your-face culture is often lost on the mindless whims of the populace. In many ways the movie is an emotional sequel to OFFICE SPACE. In that movie the lead character, Peter Gibbons, eventually quits his job. Though the characters are different, EXTRACT is a look at Peter Gibbons ten years later. I really enjoyed it.
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