I genuinely don’t believe that any one sets out to make a bad film. In fact, when you think of the many disparate elements that need to come together then it’s a small wonder that anyone is able to make a good film, never mind a great one. Scripting, casting, acting, editing…the list of what can scupper a movie at any stage is almost endless, so you could argue that every film is an underdog. This is more-so the case for low budget films (especially those outside the Hollywood system), that don’t have millions of dollars to fall back on. I always take this into account when I review a movie, so when I criticise a low budget film I always consider the uphill struggle that the film-makers encountered to bring it to the screen. I have all this in my mind when I say that I Really Hate My Job should never have been made.
Oliver Parker’s film follows the employees of a London restaurant (Neve Campbell, Shirley Henderson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Anna Maxwell Martin, Oana Pelleaon) on a night where everything goes wrong. They’re also expecting ‘Hollywood star’ Danny Huston, who happens to be played by actor Danny Huston, who is anything but a ‘Hollywood star’. It wants to be a fleety, high-energised farce: it is simply terrible.
Parker is a director who really can direct (Othello, An Ideal Husband and the Importance of Being Earnest attest to that), but I Really Hate My Job is such an amateur affair that you have to believe that they were either flukes, or that he had no genuine interest in helming this sub-standard farce. Nothing works here. The script should never have been printed, never mind signed off for funding. The acting is shrill, the score is cloying and the direction feels like it was planned for a mid-1990s sit-com. Parker’s film is supposed to connect with an audience who have (or have had) a job they’ve hated, but you can’t just hope that a concept and a title get you automatic goodwill. There’s a reason why this was shot in 2007 and why it’s limping to DVD now.
I’m sure someone will enjoy I Really Hate My Job – if you happen to know these people then you should ignore then, change your telephone number and perhaps look into the emigration process. These people should not be your friend. I really hate this movie.