Working Girl

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I didn’t watch Working Girl until I was in my early 20’s.  It is one of those films that is shown late at night a couple of times a year, so one evening, I was bored and decided to give it a chance.  I’m glad I did because I love it.

Directed by Mike Nichols and released in 1988, I don’t think things have changed all that dramatically for women in the workplace since then.  This film will resonate for many women in business and secretaries/PA’s who were better than their job.

Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) is a secretary from Staten Island who wants more out of life and wants to be taken seriously by her idiot male colleagues.  She has a degree in business, which she achieved through attending night school.  Her boyfriend, Mick (Alec Baldwin), doesn’t understand why Tess wants more out of life and wants her to settle down with him.

Tess and Katherine

Tess keeps being promised an executive position, but it never happens.  After getting her own back on her colleagues for another stupid prank they’ve played on her (involving the amazing Kevin Spacey as a slimeball), Tess is moved to another department to work for a new female executive, Katherine Parker, played to bitchy perfection by the wonderful Sigourney Weaver.  At first, Tess is encouraged by working for a female boss, but it turns out Katherine is no better than her old colleagues.  She just patronises Tess in a passive aggressive manner.

Jack and Tess

Disheartened, one morning on the Staten Island ferry, Tess has a brainwave for an important client, Trask, to make an investment in radio, but knowing nobody will take her seriously, she takes matters in her own hands.  Whilst Katherine is out of the country because of a skiing accident, Tess wangles her way into an important party, by using Katherine’s name, so she can meet executive Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford at his most charming).

Jack Trainer: “You’re the first woman I’ve seen at one of these things that dresses like a woman, not like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.”

Jack likes Tess’s pitch and says he will back her.  Whilst they work on their pitch to Trask, Tess and Jack fall for each other, but Jack just happens to be Katherine’s boyfriend and Katherine returns from Europe…..

Without spoiling any more of the plot, I hope I have told you enough to make you want to watch the film.  I haven’t seen Melanie Griffith in anything else, but she is fantastic in this.  She portrays Tess as sharp, witty, likeable and just the right side of cute.  The supporting cast are great, including Joan Cusack as Tess’s best friend, Cynthia, who has the brilliant line to Jack “can I get you anything? coffee, tea, me?” and Philip Bosco as Mr Trask.  The ending of the movie leaves you grinning and I love the song “Let the River Run”, which won Carly Simon an Oscar.  Just watching this film for the 80’s hair and fashion is a must.  Enjoy!

Tess McGill: “You 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.”

Images: IMDb

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The 80’s: Decade of Nostalgia

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The 80’s is one of my favourite movie decades.  It was not filled with the greatest films, some of them were downright daft in a so bad they were good way (Mannequin, Dirty Dancing, Big Trouble in Little China, or Weekend at Bernie’s are prime examples).

Mike Nichol’s Working Girl – I love this film!

Most films from this decade happily bathed in their gloriously imaginative stories, they didn’t hold back.  There were just as many films for children and teenagers in the 80’s as there were for adults.

Top Gun

The 80’s is filled with John Hughes movies, Spielberg, Steve Martin (when he made funny movies), Schwarzenegger leading the way in the hugely popular action movie genre, the world fell in love with Tom Cruise, the brat pack and Bueller…..Bueller, anyone? anyone?

The 80’s movie always has memorable quotes, music, clothing, characters and posters.  I clearly remember the Nightmare on Elm Street poster terrifying me!

Staypuft – Ghostbusters

A movie critic will always pick the 90’s with it’s fantastic films such as LA Confidential, The Green Mile, Fight Club and Tarantino films.  Some of my favourite movies are from the 90’s and 70’s.  However, many of today’s bright stars in the movie industry grew up with and/or are inspired by 80’s films.  People such as JJ Abrams who was influenced by Star Wars and is now at the helm of episodes 7-9, M Night Shyamalan (Spielberg) with his cinematography and lately, Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn (Raiders of the Lost Ark).  In fact James Gunn is so influenced by the 80’s that he has used an 80’s soundtrack in Guardians.

Labyrinth

My personal favourite films from the 80’s are:

The Empire Strikes Back, The Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, The Goonies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Trading Places, Big, The Terminator, Ghostbusters, ET: The Extra Terrestial, Labyrinth, The Lost Boys, Working Girl, and Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

I will be covering these films in future posts.  There are many more memorable films, such as; Beetlejuice, Back to the Future, Top Gun (my bff will have words with me if I don’t mention this), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Wall Street, Aliens, The Karate Kid, The Breakfast Club, Gremlins….but for now, I will be sticking to the films above and perhaps covering these and others later on.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

These films are never claiming to be serious, or arty and this is one of the points of my blog, to show that you can love movies and love these films too.  If these films weren’t great then they wouldn’t keep showing up in Top 100 Films polls.  You can enjoy The Godfather 2 and still revel in the popcorn fun of The Goonies.  It is allowed.

Images: IMDb

So, what is your favourite 80’s movie?