Entertainment Magazine

In Good Company: Movie Production Notes

Universal Pictures presents
"In Good Company"

Release date: Dec. 29, 2004 (LA/NY)
January 14, 2005 (wide)

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, Marg Helgenberger, David Paymer, Clark Gregg, Philip Baker Hall, Selma Blair

Directed by: Paul Weitz

Written by: Paul Weitz

Producers: Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz


Dan Foreman (DENNIS QUAID) is 51 and his life is good...on the whole.

The long-term head of ad sales at the weekly Sports America has just celebrated the magazine’s biggest year, thanks in large part to Dan’s warm, honest, handshake deal style and the departmental esprit de corps he fosters.

Even the news of his wife’s unexpected pregnancy and the acceptance of his eldest daughter, Alex (SCARLETT JOHANSSON), into tony (not to mention expensive) NYU leave Dan happy, though not entirely unconcerned about family finances—but he will, as he always has, manage.

Carter Duryea (TOPHER GRACE) is 26 and thinks his life is awesome, mostly. The whiz kid has been devoting himself single-mindedly to getting ahead at the multinational conglomerate Globecom.

Carter Duryea (TOPHER GRACE) finds himself falling for his employee's daughter, Alex (SCARLETT JOHANSSON), in In Good Company, the insightful comedy from writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Film Title: In Good Company. Copyright: © 2004 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Credit: Glen Wilson.

Management even knows his name— Carter is being “groomed” for his next rung on the corporate ladder: heading up ad sales at one of the cornerstone publications newly acquired by Globecom in their latest takeover, the magazine Sports America. Unfortunately for Carter, his promotion coincides with the crumbling of his seven-month marriage and he has no one, save a pet fish, to share his joy with.

But he knows he’s on his way, he’s going places—and he’ll manage. Dan’s exasperation at his demotion is nothing compared to his incredulity at being replaced by the 26-year-old Carter. Given his new boss’ age and relative experience in ad sales (none), Dan has little desire to be Carter’s “wing man.”

But in light of the new developments at home, he needs his job as much as Carter needs his. Forging a tenuous relationship out of corporate necessity, the two begin working together to meet Globecom’s mandate of cutting the department’s budget while increasing revenue by 35 percent.

Carter’s zeal to deliver to upper management doesn’t win him many fans in the Sports America offices. His bottom line focused approach, somewhat lacking in the human side of business, is often at odds with Dan and his devotion to his staff.

As Dan sees it, these people are a family—something Carter is sorely lacking. The new department head’s loneliness even prompts him to call a Sunday staff meeting and then invite himself to Dan’s home for dinner with the Foremans, where Carter and Alex have a chance to talk while Alex whoops her dad’s boss at foosball.

Later, when the lonely ad salesman runs across the equally lonely NYU transfer student at a Manhattan cafe, the chance meeting rekindles the sparks initially felt at the family dinner...sparks that begin an affair, which the pair find themselves hiding from Dan. The corporate handbook has precious little to say about sleeping with your employee’s collegiate daughter and if word were ever to get out, news of their affair would seriously threaten Carter’s détente with Dan, Alex’s close relationship with her father and the progress the two salesmen have made at Sports America.

All in all, life for both Dan and Carter just got a bit more complicated.

From the co-director and Academy Award®-nominated co-screenwriter of About a Boy, PAUL WEITZ, comes the insightful and human comedy In Good Company. Weitz directs from his own screenplay and produces alongside his brother, Oscar®nominated filmmaker CHRIS WEITZ (About a Boy, American Pie).

In addition to Quaid, Johansson and Grace, the film stars MARG HELGENBERGER (Erin Brokovich, television’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Dan’s wife, Ann; and veteran character actors DAVHALL (Bruce Almighty, Magnolia) as Sports America ad salesman Morty and sporting goods business owner Eugene Kalb, respectively.

Joining Weitz behind the camera are executive producers RODNEY LIBER (Big Momma’s House) and ANDREW MIANO (the upcoming His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass); director of photography REMI ADEFARASIN (About a Boy and Elizabeth); production designer WILLIAM ARNOLD (Shopgirl); editor MYRON KERSTEIN (Garden State); costume designer MOLLY MAGINNIS (Life As a House); and composer STEPHEN TRASK (The Station Agent). KERRY KOHANSKY serves as co-producer. ID PAYMER (State and Main, Mr. Saturday Night) and PHILIP BAKER.

Dan Foreman (DENNIS QUAID, right) greets his much younger new boss, Carter Duryea (TOPHER GRACE), in In Good Company, a Universal Pictures release.

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