MONDO EXTRAS

Staff Flick Picks

by The Editors August 16, 2007
The Movies On Cable We Can't Resist

-- Lauren S

Way back when, in the 1980s, I was, as they say, a latchkey kid. While my parents were off earning a living so they could put pork chops and instant potatoes on the table, I had two to three hours of freedom each day after school ended. And so I watched TV. When the soaps and Donahue were dull, I tuned in to HBO. Then, as now, HBO's programming was contingent upon showing the same movie repeatedly. And there was no movie that transfixed my budding slapstick feminist consciousness more than Nine To Five.

If you're lucky enough to catch Nine To Five from the opening credits, there's no way to turn it off. The thumping theme song, mixed with shots of '80s pumps and shoulder pads and giant glasses, hooks you immediately. Once you're introduced to the three plucky protagonists of the film, it becomes even more impossible to change the channel or leave the house. We have Lily Tomlin as Violet Newstead, the über-competent widow and mother who's given twelve years of her life to her company, Consolidated, only to be passed over again and again for promotions because of her sex. Then there's Jane Fonda as Judy Bernly, a mousy soon-to-be divorcée slash housewife who's entering the work force for the first time after her husband ran off with his secretary. And of course there is the incomparable Miss Dolly Parton, in her film debut, as Doralee Rhodes, the pretty and busty secretary who's assumed to be having an affair with her boss, but in reality has to fend off his sexual advances on an almost constant basis because she needs the job. Dabney Coleman is the perfect villain as the scourge of middle management -- the sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot, Mr. Hart.

Nine To Five is full of a lot of silliness -- like the three women bonding over a joint and fantasizing about ways to off Mr. Hart; Violet accidentally pouring rat poison in his coffee because the box looks so conveniently similar to Skinny and Sweet; and Mr. Hart dangling from the ceiling by the harness when our triumvirate of heroines hold him hostage for several weeks. It also has some pretty implausible plot points. But at its core is the anxiety of a culture in transition, facing women in the workforce who are not merely grateful for their jobs, but deserving of and demanding equality. With the boss out of the way for a few weeks, Violet, Judy, and Doralee transform their floor of Consolidated into a humane and family-friendly operation featuring flex time, job sharing, part-time schedules, a day-care center, and equal pay, among other perks which, incidentally, women are still fighting for today. Funny, smart, and totally delightful, Nine To Five might not be the best way to make a living, but is a completely rewarding way to pass a few hours.

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Staff Flick Picks

by The Editors August 16, 2007
The Movies On Cable We Can’t Resist -- Lauren S Way back when, in the 1980s, I was, as they say, a latchkey kid. While my parents were off earning a living so they could put pork chops and instant potatoes on the table, I had two to three hours of freedom each day after school ended. And so I watched TV. When the soaps and Donahue were dull, I tuned in to HBO. Then, as now, HBO's programming was contingent upon showing the same movie repeatedly. And there was no movie that transfixed my budding slapstick feminist consciousness more than Nine To Five. If you're lucky enough to catch Nine To Five from the opening credits, there's no way to turn it off. The thumping theme song, mixed with shots of '80s pumps and shoulder pads and giant glasses, hooks you immediately. Once you're introduced to the three plucky protagonists of the film, it becomes even more impossible to change the channel or leave the house. We have Lily Tomlin as Violet Newstead, the über-competent widow and mother who's given twelve years of her life to her company, Consolidated, only to be passed over again and again for promotions because of her sex. Then there's Jane Fonda as Judy Bernly, a mousy soon-to-be divorcée slash housewife who's entering the work force for the first time after her husband ran off with his secretary. And of course there is the incomparable Miss Dolly Parton, in her film debut, as Doralee Rhodes, the pretty and busty secretary who's assumed to be having an affair with her boss, but in reality has to fend off his sexual advances on an almost constant basis because she needs the job. Dabney Coleman is the perfect villain as the scourge of middle management -- the sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot, Mr. Hart. Nine To Five is full of a lot of silliness -- like the three women bonding over a joint and fantasizing about ways to off Mr. Hart; Violet accidentally pouring rat poison in his coffee because the box looks so conveniently similar to Skinny and Sweet; and Mr. Hart dangling from the ceiling by the harness when our triumvirate of heroines hold him hostage for several weeks. It also has some pretty implausible plot points. But at its core is the anxiety of a culture in transition, facing women in the workforce who are not merely grateful for their jobs, but deserving of and demanding equality. With the boss out of the way for a few weeks, Violet, Judy, and Doralee transform their floor of Consolidated into a humane and family-friendly operation featuring flex time, job sharing, part-time schedules, a day-care center, and equal pay, among other perks which, incidentally, women are still fighting for today. Funny, smart, and totally delightful, Nine To Five might not be the best way to make a living, but is a completely rewarding way to pass a few hours.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Next

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