Rated “R” for Nudity and Profanity
Written By: Kevin Wade
Directed By: Mike Nichols
Staring: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Oliver Platt, Kevin Spacey, and Olympia Dukakis
You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you’re trying to get there. And if you’re someone like me, you can’t get there without bending the rules. -Tess McGill
Working Girl is in a way a modern day Cinderella epic, except in this tale Cinderella isn’t after Prince Charming, he is after her and she’s after the job, the power, and all the comes along with it. When Katherine poses as her obstacle to succeed Tess requires no fairy godmother to save her, she “makes it happen”. When she initially meets her Prince Charming (Harrison Ford) she tells him she, “has a head for business and a body for sin” acknowledging and embracing her feminine beauty but making it clear she’s in control. That was classic writing in a flm with ten other lines just as brilliant. This movie has amazing dialouge.
In the business metropolis that is Manhatten, Tess McGill has spent her life working in a testosorone filled environment where she can’t seem to bypass the role of secretary. As an attractive woman who can’t escape the perception of a woman as an object rather than another normal, breathing, thinking human being Tess feels frustrated and stuck. When Tess meets her new boss, an empowered woman named Katherine Parker, she idolizes her as the object of what she wants to be. When Katherine suffers an injury and is stuck in a hospital for a long period of time, Tess takes over as her personal assistant and accidentally stumbles upon an idea she passed by Katherine that Katherine had intended to pass off as her own. When Tess realizes her mentor is just as shallow and back stabbing as all the men she has worked for she discovers an inner strength and drive she didn’t know existed and begins to take matters into her own hands. In Katherine’s absence Tess falsely assumes her position under her own name and chases her dream.
It is a beautiful movie visually, with shots of New York and Lady Liberty in particular. It has a fantastic score, including a powerful song that plays at the end of the film by Carly Simon but also plays in the back round throughout the film.
Working Girl has all the elements for the makings of a real romantic comedy, but I think it crossed the barrier into a dramatic film that simply had some funny parts with a romance as a sidebar. With an enigmatic screenplay by Kevin Wade this film sets itself into a world all of it’s own.
What I’ve found draws me most to this movie is the message. When Tess stands in front of the mirror and says quietly, “You make it happen”, it sends a message that if you want to succeed in a dog eats dog world, no fairy tale godmother is going to drop your hopes and dreams in your lap for you. You have to go after your dreams yourself. It’s told in an entertaining and fun way, but the message is clear and truthfully is inspirational.
With huge acting powerhouses in this film, Sigourney Weaver’s performance is the one that actually stood out. Backed by a smart screenplay with excellent character development it left an acting playground for the main trio of actors. Katherine was so cold, calculating and completely sure of herself, but also charismatic and engaging, that only someone like Sigourney Weaver could pull it off. I can’t speak highly enough of her performance in this film. Both Sigourney Weaver and Joan Cusack were nominated for an Oscar in the best supporting actress category, along with Melanie Griffith for Best Actress. Though none took the Golden Glory home, the acknowledgement is a clear statement of the success the actresses gave the film. The men, Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford gave profound performances as well, but were simply overshadowed by the excellence of the ladies in this film.
This is obviously an adult themed movie with scenes involving strong sexual content and nudity. The overall themes are adult oriented with very strong uses of language as well. While this is not a movie for children or a family film, it’s an excellent date movie or a movie for group of girls and or women. I can’t speak highly enough about this film. It is smart, sexy, and an absolute riot. I absolutely adore it.
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