Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Jennifer Aniston stars as Sue Claussen, a woman who travels the country selling corporate art (think: cheesy motel prints and paintings) to various businesses. On one trip, she stays at a small, family-owned motel in Arizona, where the night watchman Mike (played by Steve Zahn) is instantly attracted to her. In order to interact with Sue, Mike pretends that it’s hotel policy to offer a complimentary bottle of wine to all guests. He brings it to Sue’s room, then stands around hoping she’ll ask him to join her. She doesn’t. The next night, he returns with a bottle of champagne, at which point Susan asks him if his routine ever “works”. She feels a bit sorry for him, so she says he can touch her ass, but then has to leave. The next morning, Sue sees Mike as she’s on her way to the airport. Impulsively, she drags him into the housekeeping closet and has sex with him before leaving.
To Sue’s thinking, that one tryst is all that will ever happen between them. But it means so much more to Mike, who becomes more determined than ever to get something going with her. Towards that end, he uses all his savings to buy a one-way plane ticket to Maryland and unexpectedly drops in on Sue at work. She is completely taken aback, calling his actions “inappropriate”. But she lets him stay at her place, then spends the next day doing fun things with him before putting him on a bus back to Arizona.
The rest of the film more or less follows this pattern, with Mike continuing to pop up in Sue’s life no matter where she happens to be in the country. Mike is totally and completely in love with her, and won’t let go or move on — even when Sue tells him that she’s going to marry old flame Jango (Woody Harrelson) because she’s pregnant with Jango’s baby. Eventually, Mike’s persistence pays off. Sue comes to realize that Mike loves her more than anyone else ever has and decides that the best thing for her to do would be to let him continue to do so.
My Reaction: I like Jennifer Aniston, but had never even heard of Management before coming across it at Blockbuster. Did this movie go straight to DVD or something? I don’t remember it being in theaters or even seeing previews for it.
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it was a straight-to-DVD affair. This movie had absolutely nothing going on! It’s billed as a comedy, but does not play like a typical romantic comedy at all, and there are very few laughs along the way. And yet the premise was just too silly and preposterous to classify this as a drama.
I didn’t understand why anyone would read this script and think, “Now that sounds like a great movie!” It made no sense for Mike to suddenly be attracted to Sue and follow her all over the country. Sure, Sue was beautiful, but she was a total bitch to him at first. Hadn’t he seen other beautiful women at the motel before? Did he stalk them as well?
And as for Sue, there was no adequate explanation for why she changed her mind about Mike in the end. She herself even said to him, “Sometimes being sweet just isn’t enough.” That’s all Mike ever was, so what changed? It couldn’t have been his decision to turn the motel into a homeless shelter, because she had already left Jango by that point. Even though I fully expected Mike and Sue to end up together, the writer never convinced me that this was something the characters would actually do.
I wanted to be entertained by Management, but there simply wasn’t enough substance here to make me care about or believe in the motivations of the main characters. The movie lost me as soon as the action shifted to Aberdeen, and never recovered from there. I give it 2 stars out of 5.