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Friday, 1 December 2017

Retro Review: Working Girl (1988)

Working Girl
Cast: Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack
Genre: Romantic Comedy - Drama
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $100 million

Plot: When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it by pretending she has her boss's job

'Rom-Com Spin-Off Akin Nine-To-Five, Only Less Fun, Is Dated & Unremarkable'

A film which undeservedly received six Academy Award nominations, Mike Newell's Working Girl is far from Oscar material, as nothing about it speaks of compelling or unique and as a take on the romantic comedy, it just doesn't stack up.

Working Girl chronicles the uphill struggles of secretary Tess McGill in a predominately male-dominated working world. Whilst her boss, Katherine is away on holiday, Tess takes advantage of her boss's skiing accident with Katherine bedridden in the hospital and in her place, she gets to call the shots, unknownst to Katherine. Including stealing her main squeeze, Jack.

Aside from being a boring drudge of a film, the film feels incredibly dated and doesn't feel modern enough and Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford are a total mismatch as a couple. Sigourney Weaver's performance, however, is the most impressive out of the main three as she plays Griffith's Tess's nemesis. Her talents especially could be put to better use, and yet she is saddled with a banal script. 

I don't mean to be blunt but if the lead was played by another actress but for Melanie Griffith, they might have brought more to the movie than her and instilled more confidence. 

Uninspired, lacklustre and overhyped to the max, Working Girl can't decide out of the two whether it wants to be a rom-com or a feminist take of the working world, but either way, even by trying either of them out, which it does, Working Girl still fails and falls flat on its face. Also penned by the writer of such movies as Maid in Manhattan, Junior & Meet Joe Black, those movies weren't so well-received either. Although I kind of enjoyed Junior

The reality is Melanie Griffith's character would have moved on and taken up a position elsewhere, instead of standing back and be taken for the fool that she is. 

Dated and unremarkable, sorry, but I didn't buy into it and its success. 


Final Verdict:

Like Steven Soderbergh and Peter Weir, Mike Leigh is yet another in the line of directors, whose direction never overwhelmed me, and thus he takes the one-dimensional approach and makes his films come across as boring. Not even Harrison Ford's turn could rescue Working Girl from being mundane and if it hadn't been for Sigourney Weaver, this film would be even more unmemorable. 

It didn't deserve all those Oscar nominations and together with the lack of chemistry and affection shown between Ford and Griffith makes this one of the least romantic rom-coms, ever.


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