I've always visualized Christian Slater as being the age he was in Heathers and Pump Up the Volume -- the kid with aspirations of being Jack Nicholson. I never thought of him as having anything in common with character actor Stephen Root until I saw He Was a Quiet Man at SXSW, and it was rather a shock to remember that Slater is nearly the same age I am, which is not exactly teen-aged.

He Was a Quiet Man
opens with a voice-over monologue from Slater, one of those "angry white guy" speeches about the state of the world today and why a man can't be a man anymore. Societal changes, especially feminism, just ruined it for everyone, y'know. When we finally see Slater peeking over the edge of a cubicle, it's a shock. He looks just like Milton, Stephen Root's red-stapler-loving character in Office Space. Only instead of cradling a red stapler and muttering about burning the office down, Slater's character Bob is cradling a loaded gun and pondering whom in the office he would shoot if he went on a killing spree. He targets his jerk of a boss, the chick who busts him for looking at her bust ... everyone except the lovely Venessa (Elisha Cuthbert), whose smile "lights up a room," as everyone keeps saying. You can imagine him doing it, too.