Ryan (Clooney), a graying bachelor, is a corporate executive, living out of a suitcase, his home the airliner at an altitude of ten kilometers. His ambition is to log ten million kilometers of flying which will entitle him to a badge of recognition from the airline and an interview with the chief pilot. His social circle consists of the airline and hotel employees he encounters as he moves from one hotel and air terminal to another. His job profile is that of a Termination Facilitator, or hatchet man, in a company whose line of business is "down-sizing" of companies. His job is to fire people.
The film gives a picture of the current spate of unemployment in the US. As the script says, loss of a job is a trauma similar to a death in the family. People react in different ways to the shock of leaving a job, and are known to be suicide risks. Loss of one's livelihood is loss of one's dignity as a contributor in society. And you wake up the next day with no-where to go, facing a horrifying succession of Sundays. One's work is what gives structure and sequence to time and loss of occupation throws the pattern of life into disarray. Anger, disbelief, grief--the film captures it all well.
It's a film as perfect as the same director's Juno, and like that film, provides an authentic window to present day US. In spite of a grim theme, there is a lightness, optimism and even joy running through the movie. As Clooney says in the movie, " Living is moving." On a canvas of blue sky or seas of cloud, with two romantic side-plots to add substance to the story, it is as enjoyable and educative as you would like.