Monday, February 27, 2012

entreVIEW Announces eeVee Award winners

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony was last night. While some may have survived watching the entire extravaganza, we at entreVIEW quit watching as soon as we ran out of popcorn. That’s okay, because instead we spent our time compiling our own list—the top entrepreneurial movies of all time (or at least since 1980). If we had an award (we’d call it an “eeVee,” obviously), these are the films that would win.

So, without further ado (as they say in show biz circles), and in somewhat chronological order, here are the lucky winners of our imaginary eeVees:

1.     Night Shift (1982). Henry Winkler (the “Fonz” from “Happy Days”) is a Wall Street dropout who teams up with an entrepreneurial idea man (Michael Keaton) to operate a prostitution ring out of a morgue. Keaton’s character has a particularly amusing penchant for dictating blockbuster business ideas to himself. Note to self: Watch for Keaton’s ingenious idea for streamlining the tuna salad business.   
2.     Secret of My Success (1987). Michael J. Fox riffs on his “Family Ties” character Alex P. Keaton in this comedy about a Midwestern boy fresh from college who travels to New York City to take a job in finance, is laid off before he even starts, takes a job in the mail room of another company, finds an empty office, assumes a new identity, and ends up running the company (and gets the girl, too).   

3.     Baby Boom (1987). Diane Keaton (do all comedies with an entrepreneurial angle involve someone named Keaton?) as a single investment banker who is saddled with a deceased cousin’s baby, loses her job, moves to Vermont, develops a gourmet baby food, and hits it big. Applesauce, anyone? 

4.     Forrest Gump (1994). The entrepreneurial story here is really just tangential to the larger story arc, which long ago passed into American folk lore, as have a number of choice quotations (think “Life is like a box of chocolates…”), but we especially like how Forrest’s success in business is largely the result of being in the right place at the right time (shades of Malcolm Gladwell). A developmentally delayed young man (Tom Hanks) returns from Vietnam, takes up the shrimping business to fulfill a dead Army buddy’s dream, survives a hurricane to corner the market, invests the profits in Apple stock (“Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company”), and—well, you know the rest.

5.     The Hudsucker Proxy (1994). Written and directed by St. Louis Park’s own Joel and Ethan Coen, this somewhat dark comedy, set in 1958 in a perpetually cold and gray New York City, features a storyline reminiscent of 1941’s “Meet John Doe.” A Midwestern boy (Tim Robbins) fresh from college who travels to New York City to find fame and fortune (are you sensing a theme here?) is elevated from the mail room to the executive suite by handlers hoping to torpedo the company’s stock price so they can buy in on the cheap. A hard-bitten female journalist (Jennifer Jason Leigh, channeling Katherine Hepburn) sent to get a scoop by spying on him falls for him, and he makes it big inventing stuff, “you know…for kids!”

6.     Office Space (1999). A bored, frustrated, and unappreciated software engineer, under the influence of hypnotherapy, designs a computer virus to divert fractions of pennies into a special account to which only he and his friends have access. A cult classic, this film includes wonderful depictions of soulless corporate bureaucracy. We especially liked the smarmy manager, so, ummm...yeeaahh...we’re gonna need you to go ahead and watch this for yourself.

7.     The Social Network (2010). You pretty much already know what this film is about. Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay follows Mark Zuckerberg as he creates and builds Facebook. Winner of multiple Golden Globe Awards, British Academy Film Awards, and Academy Awards.

Have we left one of your favorites off the list?  Let us know—we love a good movie.

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