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Boss Of It All, The (2007)

Who knew Danish office comedies from cynical tragic directors could be so funny?
Who knew Danish office comedies from cynical, tragic directors could be so funny?

Genre: Comedy (Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Italy, France, Norway, Finland, Germany)

Starring: Jens Albinus (The Idiots), Peter Gantzler (Italian For Beginners)

Directed By: Lars von Trier (Breaking The WavesDancer In The Dark)

Overview: The president of an IT company has been pretending to be nothing more than an employee. When he decides he wants to sell the company, he hires an actor to play the president to finalize the sale.

Lars von Trier is the kind of director that makes me sick.

He makes me sick because he breaks all the friggin' rules and is called a genius for it, and by that I mean he KNOWS the rules, then goes out of his way to BREAK them. Who does that? Why would someone try to engage his audience in a technical game of lookeys rather than just letting them actually enjoy his film? In fact, why would anyone purposefully make intentional distractions away from the narrative of a comedy? Is that funny to you? Funny like a clown?

I should have guessed it. I mean, take an accomplished European director like Trier, put a few years under his belt and watch him turn foppish and snobby. I can just hear him now while swishing around a glass of cognac, "Oh no, I don't simply want to make movies, I want film to become an experience, I want to make waves. I want to turn the world of cinema on its ear, I want to be an innovator."

What a goof. You made a comedy, Lars. God forbid you just let people become complacent and just watch. Seriously, we have enough trouble understanding the Danish dialogue in front of us without you throwing in stuff just to make it deep, complex or rife with subtext, God.

I mean ok, I get the idea of Automavision. The film's setting is an IT company where, in practice, people don't really get what they're doing / selling / providing. Yeah, that's funny and so, having a cinematographic style that is equally random and automated by a computer to be intentionally imprecise... well I see ironic humour in that, even if it does break the rules.

But so much rule-breaking! We start off with the director-as-narrator introducing the comedy with his reflection in the office windows. Add cheeky quotes in the film like "Life is a Dogme film. It’s hard to hear, but the words are still important." and not only are you breaking the fourth wall, but you're a shameless self-promoter. And what about all the people who don't know that you came up with the Dogme 95 VOW OF CHASTITY, huh? You just lost half your audience!

Comedy is a base genre! So base in fact that you even tell us verbally that you must follow the genre's rules (Who does that?!) before the conclusion. Lars, at this point, we're laughing at you, not the movie. That's not the kind of laughter you want, Lars. You don't want layers of intellectualizing humour Lars. You want simple, fat-man-falls-down humour.

You want comedies of errors and exaggerated characters! ... ok, you have that, and yes, yes I was even still laughing the next day, but the point isn't how hard I laugh, but what I'm laughing at, Lars.

I mean when you start off with such a great premise and then take it a step further by having the Big Boss actually have a different personality for each of the employees, well that's funny. And when the talent is so perfect in their roles that nothing bad could be said about them, why would you go and ruin it with artistic originality in such a way as you did? Answer me, Lars. You just totally alienated the mainstream crowd with what you did to this Danish Comedy.

I mean Stellan Skarsgård isn't even in this. The Boss of It All is obviously a complete failure... way to go Lars.


(I did, actually)
(I did, actually)

Performance: 10 Cinematography: 8 Script: 8 Plot: 8 Mood: 8

Overall Rating: 84% (Laugh or You're Fired)

Lookeys, Dogville, the eye and Automavision: What a great article for Lars lovers!

roxxuS nohT-orraziB s'repiP

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This sounds like a cross between The Office and a Max Barry novel and maybe some Douglas Coupland as well.

I did hear it compared to "The Office", and I think it's rather apt, everyone being so quirky.  Haven't read any Coupland but I really don't like what he does with film... well maybe what I mean to say is, I don't like what his movies do for our Canadian identity...

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