The office environment is one in which most will have had some form of experience. Long before the days of working remotely, those who have worked in a corporate setting will have likely spent time in an office, working at a desk in a cubicle or in an open-plan room at a desk.
It is an iconic space that is instantaneously recognizable, with many TV shows and films that have perfectly captured the experience and essence of the workplace setting. The Office – both the US and UK versions – has been an iconic example, as both shows have ranked incredibly high with critics and viewers for years.
But what are some of the best films to have achieved exactly the same thing?
The Devil Wears Prada
If you cast your mind back to 2006, the release of The Devil Wears Prada will be one that can bring back flooding memories of an office workspace being used to its effectiveness.
The film shows Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) being hired as a PA to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in a demanding work environment. She is required to adapt and meet the constant demands of the office, highlighting just how fast-paced working in these environments can often be for a corporate company.
It is a film that many audiences have been able to resonate with and can still be experienced today.
Sorry to Bother You
A more recent release (2018), Sorry to Bother You is a film that tells the story of Cassius Green. He is a black telemarketer who lives in Oakland who manages to find the key to success in the corporate world. He is able to climb the ladder and achieve professional progression, but it comes at a cost as he struggles to maintain his relationships with those he started at the bottom with.
It is a common situation for many, and with the filmmaker using traditional office ambience sound effects to help add further realism and authenticity to the viewing experience. There are many who have watched it that will have shared in the character’s struggles to balance things. It is an interesting watch, as it provides other angles viewers will have had, such as having issues with certain corporate practices that do not always allow for a positive working environment.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Everyone has seen the memes created based on The Wolf of Wall Street film, with many featuring the office space in which the New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) found himself.
Of course, Wall Street has long been known to be as corporate as it can get, with the finances that go into being a trader synonymous with the industry. However, audiences are treated to a story that sees Belfort party non-stop. This film is arguably among the greatest to use an office space as its setting, as it highlights many aspects that are rarely seen or talked about despite using a fairly standard corporate building.
In 1999, audiences were treated to the story of Peter Gibbons, who was a character who worked in an office job that provided him with very little. He was becoming bored with the job’s monotony, which many have experienced when working at a desk or in a cubicle.
In Office Space, he gets two of his co-workers to join him as they look to go against the company they work for by creating a scheme in which they can steal money from them. Although people in the workplace rarely experience this aspect, the film does highlight how soulless and boring being in an office can be for many. It captures the lack of emotion that people can have when working these jobs, but it equally provides viewers with entertaining comedy to help enhance its overall viewing experience to make it enjoyable.
In 2015, Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) made his way into an office playing a character who is retired and looking for more out of life after becoming widowed. In the film, The Intern, he finds a role as a senior intern at an e-commerce firm led by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).
It is not too uncommon for older people to look for ways to eliminate boredom after retirement, but the film also portrays many of the challenges that the older generation needs to cope with in the modern office. New technologies, processes, and a fast-paced nature are among those that are needed as they are commonly found today while showing that friendly relationships can be created between unlikely work colleagues.