Workplace comedies are usually fun. They are the best outlet for all of life’s most entertaining and frustrating relationships and dynamics: sex, love, money, ambition, failure, and awkwardness go hand in hand in hand. How else can we explain the super success of cult movies like Office Space and Horrible Bosses and TV classics like Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, and (of course) The Office? We like our work spaces bizarre, wacky and completely related to all the madness of life’s greatest triumphs and tragedies.
The same holds true in the winning new comedy Price Check which stars indie darling Parker Posey as the new boss to a failing grocery chain who descends upon the premises to revamp much more than the endcaps on aisle 10. Eric Mabius (who you’ll probably remember as Daniel Meade from Ugly Betty) co-stars as Pete Cozy, a one-time wannabe bigshot in the music biz who has failed his way into the land of a thousand canned soups. He doesn’t care much for his job as a price fixer at a failing grocery chain, but it is his life’s work (by default) so he has little choice but to make it work. Things get dicey when Susan Felders (Posey) shows up to correct the sinking ship, which she does by behaving in an alpha female way that is, well, more sexual than anyone may have anticipated.
Susan is a huge mess on heels. She calls her ex-boyfriend from work to harass him when she should be looking at sales figures. She invites herself to one of her employee’s kid’s preschool Halloween parties . . . dressed as Slutty Pocahontas. She also does the nasty with the office douche bag during an actual office party. Needless to say, she is not the savior they were expecting.
It’s pretty funny for the first half, but then things go decidedly somber when it’s revealed that all Susan really wants is a baby. (Really? This is a woman who should be bearing and rearing offspring?) She is as off-the-wall and emotionally blunted and patently insane as any cartoon creation Looney Tunes ever animated. She is, however, very real, brought to life by an audacious performance from Posey who plays the part like an intoxicated construction worker with a motorized sledgehammer. Bystanders beware. And everyone else too, actually.