Hooray for Hollywood! When America is at war, those big patriotic lugs make America-wins-the-war pics. And now that the economy’s struggling to recover — hey! — we can count on those same Titans of Tinsel Town to crank up the magic movie machine to make some here-comes-the-boom flicks. Fresh from the Spy in the House of Film (the Spy in the House of Work’s cousin) comes this update on the business blockbusters headed our way. Roll ’em!
In the Boardroom: From a script by David Mamet and Carly Fiorina, this searing, uncompromising look at what goes on behind the closed doors of a struggling corporation’s board meeting is guaranteed to gain support for the lives of those of us who are hamstering the meeting wheel day in, day out. Meryl Streep stars as the CEO on the way out who nevertheless fights to stay awake. Kevin Spacey makes a brief but memorable star turn as the guy who wants the last Danish.
Shallow Al: This tenderhearted biopic about the life of Alan Greenspan takes the true inner beauty of the economy as its theme. Al, played by a bespectacled George Clooney, becomes a financial whiz at an early age. Then he learns the hard way that, while everyone wants to make a fat profit on some dicey stock deal, in truth, all we need is a slim but reliable return, month after month after month. With Rosanne Cash in her first costarring role as Andrea Mitchell, aka Mrs. Greenspan. Soundtrack by Eddie Money.
Lara Croft: Corporate Raider: In this cheeky sequel to Tomb Raider, Ms. Croft brings her automatic weapons to a low-paying job at a high-flying company. But can “Lori” just stand by and watch while this multinational tanks? We don’t think so! Costarring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu as Lori’s fellow sys admins and takeover artists.
Steve Jobs’s Diary: Written, directed, and executive-produced by Steve Jobs, who also wrote the score. Brad Pitt gained 15 pounds and spent months schlepping around in Birkenstocks to prepare for the role of a lifetime. In this lighthearted romantic comedy, Jobs must choose between two women: one who loves him for his spiritual self and the other who will support him while he single-handedly reinvents the computer industry again — and thus jump-starts the economy. With Jennifer Lopez, and introducing Esther Dyson.
Terminated: In this exciting, edge-of-your-seat, action-packed thriller, everyone’s favorite cyborg gets the ax and launches an unstoppable mission to avenge the firing of office workers everywhere. Chock-full of famous lines, such as “I’ll be back … to pick up my stuff.” Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal assistant.
The Six Cents: “I see underemployed people.” Haley Joel Osment reprises his role as Cole in this stirring drama. It’s 15 years later, and Cole, still troubled but now possessing an MBA from Wharton, is just another overeducated, underemployed hotshot in a struggling economy. Fortunately, he sees ghosts, and one pops up from the mid-1970s to reassure him that this recession crap won’t last forever. (Title refers to amount of increase in take-home pay after Cole’s 90-day review.)
Fellowship of the Upswing: Inspired by the beloved fantasy trilogy by I.M. Toking, this fun-filled adventure follows four stoners from the mail room who — you guessed it! — take it upon themselves to revitalize the economy. Their motto, “Hey, chill,” becomes the country’s battle cry. Through the brave quest of Matt, Josh, Dante, and Zach, Americans realize that getting your panties in a twist doesn’t help anything. Cameo appearances by the Doobie Brothers and Jeff Bezos as The Guru.
This is the latest episode in The Spy’s continuing saga, “Working Behind Enemy Lines.” You can find the entire Spy chronicles on the Web (www.askthespy.com).