“Get a Job” Review: Just Don’t Be a Filmmaker

Courtesy of CBS Films
Courtesy of CBS Films

The most ironic thing about Get a Job is that the main actors are all famous enough to get a job better than this one. The movie needs them, but they don’t need the movie.

The film doesn’t even try to hide how dependent on its stars it is. The poster to the film just features Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick smiling and staring into the lens. They aren’t doing anything and this isn’t a part of the movie in any way. This is just the film’s way of saying that it has a couple of stars and the plot doesn’t matter. And that’s okay because there is no plot. The movie basically just features a bunch of characters as they navigate post-graduation and try to get – and hold onto – some jobs.

The narrative theme that ties the whole movie together is the idea that participation awards ruin children and turn them into flawed adults. While I haven’t quite made up my mind on the impact of participation awards on entitlement levels, this concept is hugely problematic in this film for a couple key reasons. First, the characters are probably the most privileged group of recent college graduates ever assembled on screen. All of the c

haracters immediately get jobs (unless they deliberately avoid them) and rarely ever mention student loans. Second, the characters are all incredibly unprepared for the real world, but that’s not exactly because of what they learned as kids. It’s mostly because the script participates in serious millennial hatred, and because of frequent drug use. Finally, the closing message the movie leaves the audience with is not one of accepting responsibility and learning motivation. It’s one of following passions and not tying oneself down. It’s a hypocritical closing note, and this is coming from someone whose dream is to become a professional film critic.

Not only is this movie yucky on a thematic level, but it’s also not super nice to women. The female characters in the film are strippers, conniving manipulators or largely not present. There’s even a female character around whose entire purpose is to sexually harass her male coworkers. Hilarious. None of the characters are particularly well defined, but the women here get the worst treatment.

Get a Job is a movie that is built off of clichés. The movie sets up a couple unique ideas, but never seems to follow through on them. The main problem here is that there is no strong, coherent structure. Without a structure, there is no momentum to the things that happen. The movie is short, but it feels so long.

At the end of the day, you don’t hate the actors for taking part in this mess of a movie, but you just kind of feel bad for them. CBS struck gold with Aubrey Plaza’s The To-Do List, but this is missing the same charm. It’s not constructed very well, it’s not funny and the message it sends is ultimately detrimental. Hopefully the filmmakers reevaluate what went wrong here, otherwise in the future they might not get another job…

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