George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham (a character he was born to play) who is a ‘transition counselor’ who flies to numerous locations throughout the US about 270 days out of the year. He gets hired by companies to do what they themselves dread; the firing and laying off of their employees! Ryan’s goal in life is to be the 7th person to reach 10 million frequent flyer miles.
Ryan lives for flying; He has rules that he follows and constructed to perfection, such as how to check in, pack his luggage, having an uncanny ability to know exactly which people to stand behind in the security line. He has also become a motivational speaker to those who travel for a living entitled ‘What’s in Your Backpack’.
Ryan has no ties, to anything. He barely speaks with his family and his actual apartment looks like a sea of white (no furniture, no food in his fridge, etc…) which makes perfect sense, his home is the numerous hotels he frequents, as shown by his amount of ‘Loyalty’ cards.
He then meets Alex (Vera Farmiga) in one of the airport lounges, a woman who is basically Ryan in a sense. She has just as many loyalty cards as him, her preference of rental vehicles and her travel down to a science. Naturally these two feel of kindred spirit and begin an in air/transit romance.
Then when Ryan’s employer (a sleezy looking Jason Bateman) flies Ryan home for a presentation, his ‘on the move’ lifestyle is interrupted as Natalie, a new employee with huge asperations (played wonderfully by Anna Kendrick) introduces a new technology to Ryan’s company that can allow the firing of employees to be done online by webcam, cutting down on travel costs and increasing the frequency. Ryan will still have a job, however what is life is sitting behind a desk (I couldn’t agree more!)?
Ryan insists Natalie knows nothing about the job and insists she get more ‘in the field’ training and that firing people is more personal, prompting Ryan’s employer to send Natalie as a tag a long in Ryan’s upcoming transitions.
Through we see Ryan begin to realize that his current track may very well leave him old and alone! He begins to let go of a few of his commitment issues and realizes that maybe his lifestyle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
There are some wonderful cameos in this film from Zack Galifianakis (damn greek names, so difficult to spell!), JK Simmons, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride and Sam Elliot.
This was an amazing movie and one of the most real characters I’ve ever seen George play! You can see nuances of himself in this character (not wanting to have children, get married etc). Vera Farmiga is great as his equal and a role I’ve been waiting to see her do that didn’t involve a freaky orphan! Anna Kendrick (of that Tween nonsense movie series ‘Twilight) is completely adorable as the newby who has all the answers. By far, the best movie I have seen this year! Expect to laugh and possibly cry a little… Well done Jason Reitman, I believe you hit your follow up to ‘Juno’ with a home run!
It was very good, and I like your review. Good highlighting of the best aspects of the film, though there were many.
Here’s the thing,
I liked the movie,
the directing, the acting, the aerial shots, vera farmiga’s bum
it was all good.
Clooney was very impressive and i think best part is that he doesn’t look like he’s trying that hard to be impressive. He’s just being George.
I went to watch the movie with 3 other friends,
And I asked around the office to anyone who’s watched the movie
and they all said the same thing.
‘It’s an ok movie, but all that memorable.’
And somehow we could all the plot ‘twist’ coming from a mile away.
once again looking forward to see this movie, i hear alot of good stuff about it, i hope your not hyping me up for a big dissapointment.