50 Indie Movies You Need to See Before You Die

In the Company of Men (1997)

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, Stacy Edwards

Like many films improperly labeled as "misogynistic," Neil LaBute's polarizing In the Company of Men deals with outright misogynists but isn't worthy of such description itself. Also similar to other movies on this list, it requires efforts on behalf of its viewers to look beyond what's addressed in the IMDb page's plot synopsis, which, in this case, states that In the Company of Men is about two corporate jerks who strategically try to destroy a deaf female co-worker's spirits. Although, the efforts to dissect LaBute's script seem minimal compared to, say Antichrist.

Aside from being a very well-written character, Chad (Aaron Eckhart) is an easy one to decipher: He hates both men and women with equal vigor, and his excitement in mentally assaulting Christine (Stacy Edwards) is always heightened by how he manipulates Howard (Matt Malloy) in the process. To him, Christine is just a pawn in a much bigger chess game. Chad loathes mankind's vulnerable tendencies, so when Howard talks about the ways he chases after his girlfriend, Chad sees his colleague-in-misogyny as a puny weakling. What kind of man would call his girl three times in a row just to make her call him back? One who deserves to be crushed.

In the end, Howard gets it much worse than Christine, and, moreover, Chad's awful characteristics are made abundantly clear. In the Company of Men leaves Christine as the obvious answer to the question of, "Who would you rather be?" —MB

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