Quick recap: Real estate agents race to close on deals anyway they can. First prize is a car, second prize is a set of steak knives and third prize is you’re fired.
Fun (?) fact: From IMDb, ‘Every since its release, this film has been used to train real life salesmen how to sell and how not to sell.’
My thoughts: From the millions of career choices out there, I think sales sounds like the absolute worst. You may say, ‘But, Mary, what about the person who has to clean out septic tanks?’ Yes, that job is gross, but it wouldn’t send me into a panic like sales. I worked at an H-E-B back in college and just offering the sale item as people checked out was enough for me to have a panic attack. And before that,I worked at a pizza place where I was always encouraged to ‘upsell’ by offering a large for just a few cents more. Did I do even that most simple task? Nope. Sales is the worst. Case closed.
That’s why I loved watching a movie about salespeople because they are so drastically different than my life. Every character in Glengarry Glen Ross is the worst. There is literally no one to root for by the end of the movie. They spend the entire film out-slimeballing each other and it is so fascinating to watch. It also helps that the cast is phenomenal- Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris and my favorite-Alec Baldwin, who I thought would be the villain, but who turned out to be a perfect motivational speaker. I’ve sat through sales pitches before and as frustrating as they are, now I can imagine the hoops they must be jumping through to get me to commit and what glorious prizes await if I just say yes (coffee’s for closers, you know).
I think what I loved most about the movie was that I kept thinking someone would snap and it just never happened. ‘Surely this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,’ I said over and over again, but the race to the bottom continued. And the best part is knowing that this was just one slice of a day for these real estate salespeople. How many times have they had these arguments? How many times have they conspired to steal leads? How many cars have been given away as incentives? It’s this perspective on the American Dream I can’t stop thinking about. It seems such a miserable existence and yet these guys live on it, thrive on it. And I’m so grateful I don’t have to do that for a living.
Final review: 5/5
Up next: Lone Star