Unlike the current torrent of coming-of-age drivel, this Paul Weitz dramedy views youthful self-actualization as a thing to be feared, not encouraged. The story revolves around Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid), a 51-year-old sales manager at a sports magazine whose life is turned upside-down when his firm is bought out by a huge conglomerate. Dan gets a demotion and a relentlessly impolitic 26-year-old boss (Topher Grace), who adds insult to injury by becoming romantic with Dan's college-age daughter (Scarlett Johansson). The latter, like Dan's pregnant wife (Marg Helgenberger), flits in and out of the picture as the boys' arcs require. But even Grace's character is a cleverly crafted foil. This is a movie for the Dans of the world, inviting them to chuckle ruefully at the monkey business those crazy kids get up to nowadays and concocting just punishments for whippersnappers who try to elbow their elders out of the way. Your own appreciation of such restitution fantasies will naturally depend on your age, gender and awareness that anybody else is entitled to any happiness whatsoever.
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