“In Good Company” -Social Relationships Relationships are an important part of everyday life. They are important in the social aspect of friendship and in the working environment. “In Good Company” is a movie about relationships and the business world. Dan Foreman, a 51 year old man, is the Sales Director at Sports America magazine. He is a very good salesman who has built relationships with his customers. When Sports America has an unexpected take over by Globe Com, Dan and his co-workers find their world turned on end. Dan finds himself demoted to a wingman for the new boss, Carter Duryea.
The 26-year old Carter is not a salesman, but he has had success in the business world. He is in over his head, and must rely on Dan’s assistance if he wants any chance to succeed. When Dan first meets Carter, he is amazed at how young his new boss is. He asked him how old he is and what experience he has in ad sales. Of course, Carter has no ad sales experience. Carter’s first impression with all the employees of Sports America Magazine is at a meeting telling them they have to increase ad sales by twenty percent. He wants to use synergy by using other Globe Com companies to sell ads to.
If they do not increase ad sales, he has to fire people. The following week Carter tells Dan that he needs to let more people go at the company. Dan says to him why say “let go” and not “fired,” because no one really wants to go. Carter goes home one evening to find his wife of seven months had suitcases by the door. She tells him that she is leaving, she had an affair, and that she never has wanted children. Carter is lonely and wants everyone to go into work on a Sunday for a few hours. After inviting himself to come over for Sunday dinner at Dan’s house, Carter is surprised by the nice life that Dan has put together for himself.
Carter meets Alex, Dan’s oldest daughter and Dan’s pregnant wife. Alex invites Carter to foosball, where they begin to open up to each other. Carter longs for what Dan has, and soon finds himself dating Dan’s daughter Alex behind Dan’s back. Carter and Alex communicate at a coffee bar getting to know each other and their families more. Then Carter asks if she would like to go for a walk, and they end up spending the day with each other. They end up spending the night together in Alex’s dorm room. The next morning Carter sees Dan and is very jumpy. Dan asks Carter if he switched from coffee to crack.
Later on Dan has a surprise Birthday party at his house and while opening presents he sees Alex holding Carters hand as he looked out the window. The following workweek Dan follows Carter to a restaurant where he sees his daughter Alex and Carter ordering lunch. He walks in and asks Alex if she is sleeping with him and she says “what do you want me to say. ” Dan punches Carter in the eye, and Carter says that he loves Alex. Afterwards, carter shows up at Alex’s dorm room, saying his timing was not right but that he does love her. Alex tells him he is on the rebound and had a good time but does not want to see him anymore.
That evening, Dan finds out his wife is in the hospital with complications with the pregnancy. Alex shows up and tells her dad that she broke up with Carter. Sports America Magazine ends up being sold by Globe Com and Dan gets his old job back as an ad sales director. This meant that Carter lost his job with Sports America Magazine. A month later, Dan asks Carter to come in and offers him a job as his second in command. Carter declines the offer, telling Dan that he does not know what he wants to do with his life. In the end Dan says he will do just fine and that he is a good man.
After watching “In Good Company,” there are many concepts that are used in this movie from Chapter 8 in the “Interpersonal Communication” book. The first was seen when Dan first met Carter and he was portraying avoidance behavior. Avoidance behavior is communication behaviors that signal your lack of interest in getting to know someone. This was indicated by his words and tone. When Dan asked Carter how old he was, he was not asking because he wanted to know, but because he could not believe a 26 year old was taking his job. It was also indicated when he asked how much experience Carter had in ad sales.
He found out that Carter had no ad sales experience. The next was when Carter met Alex, this was called approach behavior. Approach behavior is the communication behaviors that signal your interest in getting to know someone. Carter seemed to be very drawn to Alex. He seemed to hang on every word see said and was very honest with her. This was very unlike him. Carter was also physically attracted to Alex. Physical attraction is the attraction to someone’s physical appearance. This is seen when he tells her she is beautiful in her dorm room the first night they spend together.
Through the movie it seemed as though Carter had a need to belong. He was always looking for approval through others eyes, especially from Dan. When Carter told Dan that he needed to let go of more people, it seemed as though he needed Dan’s approval. Need to Belong is a hypothesis that says each of us is born with a fundamental drive to seek form, maintain, and protect strong social relationships. Carter wanted more than anything to find someone or a place to belong. Dan was a peer to Carter. Carter took Dan’s job without even thinking about the person he was taking it from.
Peer is someone of similar power or status. Through the movie there are social relationships with clients. Dan’s job deals with working with clients to obtain ad sales. He has to form a relationship with them in order for them to purchase an ad. There are also social relationships with superior and subordinates. Dan the subordinate deals with Carter the supervisor throughout the movie. A relationship is formed here because Carter needs Dan to help him run the ad sales since Carter has never done ad sales before. The other social relationship seen is the one with co-workers.
Dan has formed a close relationship with all of the other people in the ad sales department. They were all invited to his surprise birthday party and knew him on a personal basis. Interpersonal Communications is important in every social interaction we make. How we use verbal or nonverbal communication can affect how other people react to us. We choose if we truly want to get to know someone or not. We also decide if we want to hold on to a relationship. “In Good Company” was an excellent example of how people socialize in the corporate world and in normal life.