Written by Caballero Oscuro
Writer/director Mike Judge has managed to forge a cottage industry of small, quirky live action comedies that never really make much noise at the box office but develop a fan base of home viewers large enough to let him keep doing his thing. Following his established pattern, Extract was mostly DOA at the U.S. box office, so its new home video release is its first real chance for some substantial exposure. On paper, it has a couple of pluses going for it: the ace casting of Jason Bateman in its lead role and Judge's return to workplace humor following up his cult classic Office Space.
Bateman plays a conservative husband and small business owner named Joel on the verge of realizing a major payday via the sale of his flavor extract company. Unfortunately, a freak workplace accident grants one of his key employees the legal grounds to destroy his plans and possibly his company. The employee is loyal to the company, but also really dim, so when a sexy swindler (Mila Kunis) breezes into town and figures out the financial possibilities of a lawsuit, he's more than willing to join her plan.
Meanwhile, Joel is stuck in a passionless marriage at home and stuck with relationship advice from his stoner bartender/best friend (Ben Affleck), leading him to accept his friend's harebrained idea to test his wife's fidelity via the hiring of an idiotic gigolo (Dustin Milligan). Predictably, the results are not what Joel might have hoped, especially when the gigolo continues to visit his wife and decides he's in love with her.
With so much drama at work and home, Joel is forced out of his conservative comfort zone and finds himself drawn to the unbridled freedom represented by Kunis's character. He's forced to question what he really wants in his future and choose the path that will get him there. There's not much question of how it will all shake out, but it's an enjoyable ride that plays to Judge's strengths at concurrently skewering and celebrating small-town Americana.