What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Our new favorite movie: Up in the Air

with 2 comments

This afternoon, we at WSFAU took an increasingly rare trip to the movie theater (we blame the high ticket prices) to see “Up in the Air.”

We’d been eager to see it for a few reasons:

First, George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a quote-unquote corporate downsizer, who flies 350,000 miles a year, over 300 days a year. Ryan cares mostly about his job — which is to fire people — and loves everything most people hate about business travel. (Well, he may not love the TSA, but in one amusing scene, he explains the best ways to decrease your wait in line.)

Second, “Up in the Air” was partly shot at Detroit Metro Airport. And — I didn’t know this until writing and researching links for this post — unemployed Detroiters were cast as, what else, the unemployed.

Third, a good friend of ours recommended it last night. (Thanks!)

As you would guess,  frequent flyer Ryan doesn’t really have a personal life — no wife, no girlfriend — until he meets his female match, Alex, in (where else) a hotel bar. Meanwhile, in a corporate change which threatens his own job, Ryan is asked to take Natalie, his company’s rising star, on one of his business trips. These two relationships with two very different women make Ryan Bingham start to look at his life.

“Up in the Air” is WSFAU’s new favorite movie. We think everyone should go run out and see it (or get out of the long, long lines for Avatar and see Up in the Air instead).

Anyone (like us) who’s ever been counseled after or during a firing by an outside “outplacement specialist” will laugh, and might even cry, at “Up in the Air’s” smart, funny, and sad look at the life of those who did the firing.  Using real unemployed/laid off people as “those in transition” during the firing scenes was an excellent touch for realism’s sake. (Plus it got them a little work as extras.) And at movie’s end, the unemployed also get their say.

Nice local touches: Ryan says we’re tough people to fire here in Detroit and one of the movie’s key scenes takes place on the moving walkways in the McNamara Terminal of Metro Airport. 😉

One nitpick: Why did the characters have to fly into Detroit in a snowfall when they were flying around the rest of the country in clear weather? Yes, it snows here (there’s about four inches of snow outside WSFAU’s door tonight), but once again Detroit is stereotyped as being cold and snowy. 😦

Nitpick aside, if you’re unemployed, book a ticket for “Up in the Air.” (Personally, we can’t wait for the video.)

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2 Responses

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  1. […] Here is the original post:  Our new favorite movie: Up in the Air « What's So Funny About … […]

  2. Being a blog writer myself, I really appreciate the time you took in wriitng this article. I am currently reading it on my Blackberry and will scan it once I get home.

    Fredda Llanas

    January 23, 2010 at 1:13 am


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