Working Girl (1988) – reviewed by George

If you believe in Equal Pay for Equal Work, in a chance based on ability rather than background, in that commercial for the online college where the woman sings “A degree is a degree, You’re gonna want someone like me, but only if YOU have a brain”, then you’re gonna love this movie.
Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, and Melanie Griffith star, but even with third billing this is Griffith’s movie. She plays smart and spunky Tess McGill, who gets a new boss, Katherine Parker (Sigourney), who talks the “we’re a team” talk, but can’t quite manage the “walk” part. In fact, when Tess has a wonderful idea and takes it to Katherine, Katherine simply steals it. But then fate intervenes and Katherine is kept from coming to work for a couple weeks, during which Tess finds memos to upper-level bosses pushing Tess’s idea as if it were Katherine’s own.
Well, spunk automatically knows how to swing for the outside corner, and Tess is able to sell the idea to Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford), who likes it and they run with it together. And then Katherine comes back……..
The reversals of fortune are very cleverly managed in the script by Kevin Wade, and I especially liked this line for Tess: “I’m not gonna spend the rest of my life working my ass off and getting nowhere, just because I followed rules that I had nothing to do with setting up. Okay?”
There are also supporting roles for Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, and Philip Bosco, and small roles for Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, and Olympia Dukakis. “Working Girl” was photographed by Michael Ballhaus and directed by Mike Nichols.
So we have a rom-com with loftier goals than usual, because it has real ideas about real women in an unfair workplace. A workplace not made that way only by men, but let’s face it: mostly by men. Tess’s ultimate win belongs a little to everyone who sees this film and roots for her.

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