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Movie Night: She Works Hard for the Money

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.

Working Girl
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?

9 to 5 poster source
Clockwatchers image source
Working Girl image source

Join The Conversation
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
ahhh...those are all so great! classics! :) good picks Buzz!
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 10 years
I've never heard of Clockwatchers - how did that happen? :?
jennaboa jennaboa 10 years
9 to 5! I haven't thought of that movie in ages, but I love it!
Supergrover Supergrover 10 years
Working Girl is a huge guilty pleasure movie for me. I can't help but stop and watch the whole thing when its on tv. The cheesyness, the romantic moments, the Harrison sexy, the fairy tale, the whole 80's-ness of it all. I think its the only melanie griffith movie I like lol.
yiddidea yiddidea 10 years
Great choices Buzz! I absolutely love the moment in 9 to 5 where Lily Tomlin has her "Snow White Moment".
Phil Phil 10 years
Clockwatchers was an excellent movie!When I first watch it, I didn't think I was going to be stuck in an office for 9 hours a day every week day. And I never envisioned myself staring at the little clock at the bottom right corner of my computer monitor. I think I need to watch this again now that I'm in that very position! And when I rewatch it, I think a new, special feeling of appreciation may overcome me for the letter of recommendation scene.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
Tess McGill: [pretending to be her boss] I know what I'm doing. Cynthia: Yeah, screwing up your life. Tess McGill: No, I'm trying to make it better! I'm not gonna spend the rest of my life working my ass off and getting nowhere just because I followed rules that I had nothing to do with setting up, OK?
SugarCat SugarCat 10 years
I think if I were to rent Clockwatchers I'd die because it would be too similar to my real life office life! Haha.
Advah Advah 10 years
Haha I remember watching Working Girl years ago; I didn't really enjoy the film but I still remember the display of typically-80s clothes!!
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