101 Funniest Screenplays

Like The Big Lebowski, Office Space has enjoyed an after-life of appreciation that its modest release failed to predict. That’s possibly because it seemed so modest in its ambitions – a slow-burn of a comedy about the crushing, institutional tedium at a tech company on the verge of “re-organization.” Downsizing has only grown as a comedic premise since writer-director Mike Judge made his first live-action feature, which now makes Office Space seem prescient. The film grew out of a series of animated shorts Judge did for MTV about an office-drone character named Milton. In Office Space, Milton is more of a running joke and side character for a plot that revolves around a money-laundering scheme orchestrated by a data-collector Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston). If that story gives Office Space its engine, the pleasures come from Judge’s laser-like evocations of various office characters and the actors who under-play their scenes without winking.