Still, Vannatta says a brotherhood exists.
"I've worked at dealerships where my favorite part is the family dynamic because the fact is you're with these people more than your own family," he said.
The attachments are strong. Vannatta points out that every night, his general sales manager says the same thing before leaving the store: "Goodbye family away from my family."
King says he tried to convey that in his screenplay,
"I wanted to show the familial bond these guys have," he said.
Meanwhile, the actual family members of dealership employees can suffer.
"I can't tell you how many guys I know that lost relationships because of the hours you work," King said. "It's something I was conscious about in writing the script."
Jay Carley, 53, general manager at Larry H. Miller Toyota Peoria in Arizona, also attended the screening and found parallels with his own life.
"You come to work at 6 a.m. and you don't leave until 8 or 9 p.m., and that's life in retail, he said. "Some people that are successful, they just work too much and don't have time for a family. I got divorced from my first wife because of that."
A key part of the story is the strained relations between Adams' general sales manager character and his wife. As the manager puts in extra hours at the dealership to prove his worth to his father, his wife asks him to choose between her and the store.
Vannatta remembers once being in a similar situation.
"I needed to take a break and see what color my house is during the daylight and see my kids," he said. "I can't count how many people have been through a divorce because of this business, including me. It's one of those things that consumes you, and the stress doesn't leave, and it is what it is. That's why you have such a big turnover ratio."
Ted Kraybill, CEO of ESI Trends in Largo, Fla., which conducts the National Automobile Dealers Association's annual Dealership Workforce Study and a dealership employee opinion survey, says work-life balance has been a major issue throughout the 20 years he has been doing the survey.
"We've kind of watched it cycle as the generations have changed, and it's become more of a talking point and an issue," Kraybill said.
He said the level of negative responses on work-life balance has steadily increased over the last 15 years, both in the sales and service departments.