Working Girl

WorkingGirl“For anyone who’s ever won. For anyone who’s ever lost. And for everyone who’s still in there trying.”

Set in New York, New York, This well-made romantic comedy-drama, directed by Mike Nichols, has the love triangle of the three main characters set in the harsh business world were it is personal, not business.

If you’re a Harrison Ford fan and you haven’t seen this movie yet, please do. His charming business executive Jack Trainer gets caught between the admirable Tess McGill, played by Melanie Griffith, and the mild antagonist Katharine Parker, played by Sigourney Weaver, as he struggles to find meaning in his life as a high-profile business deal looms closer. Tess is a seemingly timid and aspiring professional trying to progress up the company “ladder,” which is precariously held Katherine. Add the brooding Jack and you have a volatile triangle.

Griffith and Weaver are great in their roles and are well underway before Jack arrives on-screen (a little over one-quarter from the beginning). Weaver’s maximizes the physical aspects of her character for drama and comedy while Griffith uses her raspy voice and unique persona to connect with audiences on a high level. They both embody female power in the workplace as well as the cutthroat competition, which prompts some clever tactics as well as some con artist strategy – a very common theme in 1980s movies.

“Dress shabbily, they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, they notice the woman – Coco Chanel!” Catherine says to Tess. Besides fashion, filmmakers maximize every essential elements including set design, and music. Both actresses won Golden Globes for their work in this film and got Oscar nominations. Carly Simon won both for her song “Let the River Run”.

The amazing supporting cast including Alec Baldwin as Tess’ boyfriend, Nora Dunn, Kevin Spacey, Olympia Dukakis, Oliver Platt and Joan Cusack who sports a memorable hair style. You can even see the feature film acting debut of David Duchovny in a birthday party sequence. The cast boosts the film’s overall appeal into the main stream.

Screenwriter Kevin Wade (Meet Joe Black, TV’s Blue Bloods) creates a climax that works well while the realism appeals even if the characters are a little bit outdated. Working Girl comes highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and is rated R for language, sexual content/nudity, and brief drug material. A 12-episode Working Girl TV series aired on NBC in 1990 and starred Sandra Bullock.

NOTE: the Blu-ray version finally arrived in early 2015 and carried over all the special features from the original 2001 DVD release.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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This entry was posted in 1980s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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