22nd Sep2014

‘I Really Hate My Job’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Shirley Henderson, Neve Campbell, Anna Maxwell Martin, Alexandra Maria Lara, Oana Pellea, Danny Huston | Written by Jennifer Higgie | Directed by Oliver Parker


Jobs are strange things, we are often tied to them and if we are unlucky we hate them.  You have to be lucky to truly love what you do, but what do you do if you hate it? Chances are you have to just soldier on and keep living the dream one day you’ll escape, even if it is just fantasy.  I Really Hate My Job is the story of five women working in a restaurant who really do hate what they do and all have aspirations of living their dreams, if only they could put them into action.

When Alice (Shirley Henderson) arrives to work she finds she has to fill in for the chef who can’t make it in that day.  With rejection letter in hand for her novel she has managed to finish and hoped would be the start of her career as an author she prepares for a busy night at the restaurant.  As the guests arrive Alice and her work mates deal with the stress of jobs they hate, which quickly reaches boiling point.  With the promise of a visit from Danny Huston though their spirits pick up, especially aspiring actor Abi (Neve Campbell) who idolises him.

I Really Hate My Job is a character piece that looks at the lives of five women stuck in what they feel are dead-end jobs.  Alice played by Shirley Henderson has dreams of being an author, though her novel seems to be too over pretentious to actually be published.  Alice’s boss Madonna (Anna Maxwell Martin) is the manager totally out of depth who hides her dreams behind a mask of professionalism while Suzie (Alexandra Maria Lara) is the dreamer who just wants to see the positive in life.  Abi played by Neve Campbell is probably the more complex of the characters, her dreams of acting are failing and the fact she feels she is chained to her waitressing job fills her with dread.  Along with these characters there is also Rita (Oana Pellea) the dish washer whose Spanish passion threatens to steal every scene she is in.

What makes I Really Hate My Job interesting is the fact that we are slowly drip fed details of each character, and as we get to know them we also see just how out of their depth they really are.  They are real human beings who have debts, problems with their love lives and all feel that they are losing their dreams to the dreaded realisation that they the restaurant is the place they will be trapped in forever.  While some may think at least they have their jobs, we all have the right to dream and this really is one of the themes of the film.  With a nervous breakdown, a bit of nudity and a rat infestation things are pushed out of control as the group finally find they have had enough.  The fact though that they are pushed to finally drop the pretence and admit their problems is the remedy to the problem.

I Really Hate my Job is a movie that relies on dry humour and interesting characters to keep the audience interested and for the right people this works well.  All five actors play their roles well and the growing levels of chaos keep the comedy flowing so the audience rarely gets bored.  The enigmatic arrival of Danny Huston (playing himself) is an interesting addition to the film, and he does represent everything the characters dream of.  Interesting, funny and uplifting this film may not be to everyone’s tastes but I for one enjoyed it.

**** 4/5

I Really Hate My Job is available on DVD now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek



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