Clockwatchers (1997) / Comedy-Drama

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for brief language
Running Time: 96 min.


Cast: Toni Collette, Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, Alanna Ubach, Helen FitzGerald
Director: Jill Sprecher
Screenplay: Jill Sprecher, Karen Sprecher
Review published April 29, 2002

Although not as funny as the "office comedy" predecessor, OFFICE SPACE, CLOCKWATCHERS scores more of its points by being more realistic in it's absurd look at the trivialities of office life.  In so doing, it's much more bleak in tone, and it's pessimistic undertone regarding the waste of time and talent involved in being a secretary or mail attendant gives the film a seriousness despite being enjoyably funny at the same time. 

Iris is a lonely temp who lands a gig as a secretary for a large credit company.  While there she is befriended by three other temps in her unit, and they hang out with each other after work.  Iris begins to love her job until a rash of random items around the office begin to disappear and the temps are suspected as being culprits to these robberies. 

CLOCKWATCHERS may be easy to dismiss as a rough draft of a real movie, or merely to unsubstantial to truly entertain.  While I won't disagree with these arguments, I must say that I found it to be a refreshing change of pace from the typical stale comedies of late and unlike any other I've seen before (OFFICE SPACE was a much different form of comedy).  Bolstered by a terrific performance by Toni Collette is a likeable supporting cast and an impressive debut for writer-director Jill Sprecher.  CLOCKWATCHERS may only really be understood by people who have ever worked in an office, who will recognize how the most trivial of issues can blow out of proportion and how the most worthless of items can be seen as prized possessions.  Recommended for indie film lovers, fans of office humor, and for people stuck in dead end jobs who may need a push to get them motivated to move on.

Qwipster's rating:

2002 Vince Leo