In honor of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, let's take a moment and honor those cinematic ladies who, as Donna Summer would say, "work hard for the money." I know there are plenty of movies to choose from for this category, but I'm narrowing my list for this Movie Night to just three. So this holiday weekend, curl up in solidarity with some of your onscreen working sisters.
Nine to Five
This tale of office revenge is perhaps the most satisfying ever — especially because it features three fed up ladies getting back at "the Man." Dolly Parton has big hair and bigger boobs, and pairing up her Southern charm with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda makes for some hilarious hijinks as the three disgruntled ladies exact revenge on their clueless, rude, sexist boss (Dabney Coleman). This movie makes me cheer.
Two more films, so
This 1998 movie depicts the soul-crushing monotony of corporate life so accurately it both makes me cringe and comforts me to know that others experience the same thing. Toni Collette plays the shy, quiet Iris who keeps a journal and narrates the film with her inner monologue. The plot description is this: "She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other 'corporate orphans', Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture." The superb cast (especially Collette and Posey) and the careful direction make for a true-to-life and funny look at the friendships and culture in office environments.
If you haven't seen this movie which features whispy-voiced Melanie Griffith and some of the largest glasses this side of 1988, you can often catch it on weekends on networks like TNT. The story follows Tess McGill (Griffith), an executive assistant in a company riddled with piggish men — and a conceited, ruthless female executive named Katharine Parker (Sigorney Weaver). When Katharine breaks her leg and is bedridden, Tess pretends to be her wheeling-dealing boss — and turns out to be a better Katharine than Katharine is. Between Working Girl, 9 to 5 and countless others, it seems revenge is a common fantasy among office workers, no?