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Ladies — what are your favorite office movies, particularly for women? Which ambitious movie characters inspired you while growing up, and/or who has inspired you recently? Which movies would you want to discuss with other readers? I’ve mentioned my favorite fashion movies before, and we’ve had a few discussion threads about specific books, but as fall weather sets in, I thought it might be fun to start a discussion series of “working girl movies.”
The idea for this partly came when I watched The Intern months after it came out and then spent two hours looking for an earlier Facebook post where I knew some entrepreneurs I know had discussed the movie — but it’s been bolstered by sadness/shock when I talk to younger women who haven’t seen Working Girl. GASP.
Now, I must insist we discuss Working Girl and 9 to 5 — not only are they fun, funny, and uplifting, but they’ve stood the test of time. Don’t take my word for it, though — here’s a post from 2015 on Yahoo about how Working Girl “really is the perfect movie,” and a New Republic article from 2015 on the “enduring relevance” of 9 to 5), just for two examples. So our first movie discussion will be of 9 to 5, scheduled for October 18. That said, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on which other movies you’d like to discuss with Corporette readers. I think there are a few ways we could do this:
- Try to find a movie from every decade to watch that represents women in the workplace, for example:
- 1940 – His Girl Friday (another one of my favorites, but I feel like there may be a better option — I’m open to suggestions)
- 1950s – ? (I feel like we can do better than Monkey Business but sadly that’s what’s coming to mind…)
- 1960 – The Apartment (haven’t seen but I found it on a list of “top office comedies” — I’m open to suggestions)
- 1970s – ?
- 1980 – 9 to 5 (we’ll discuss on October 18)
- 1989 – Working Girl
- Late 90s/Early Aughts – ? (Devil Wears Prada was 2006 but could work… How do we feel about Legally Blonde (2001) as part of this discussion? Too much school, not enough office?)
- 2009 – Up in the Air (haven’t seen yet, but found on the same list)
- 2015 – The Intern (this may be too entrepreneurial-focused — thoughts?).
- Chuck the “decades” idea out the window and just watch and discuss a few good office-oriented movies — for example, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead has some amazing “dressing for work” scenes and some amusing “lady in the workplace” things to discuss (We’re right on top of it, Rose!) — but it’s from 1991, so it’s very close in time to Working Girl. I’d also love to add Office Space to this list, but the only women in the movie are Aniston’s waitress character and Nina (“Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking!”).
- Take a heavier load and add documentaries or dramas to the list. This is totally not my bailiwick, but I’m totally open to suggestions. Norma Rae? Historical dramas like Elizabeth?
- Add TV series to the list and watch a few key episodes. Murphy Brown? Mad Men? Mary Tyler Moore? The problem here is that a movie is much more contained with character development and everything else.
- Just focus on the “inspiring hard-working women characters” theme instead and add movies like Clueless to the list (or, hey, Hunger Games).
- Add books to the list. (But hey, who likes reading, amiright?) (kidding)
All right, ladies, what say you? What movies would you like to discuss? For the moment, let’s start the discussion on October 18 with 9 to 5 — you can borrow it from your local library or rent/buy it from iTunes or Amazon. (Oooh, and Working Girl is available on Netflix, for those of you who want to get ahead in your assignments.) Here’s the blurb from Rotten Tomatoes, where it has an 83% fresh rating: “Three female office workers become friends and get revenge against their boss, a sexist egotistical lying hypocritical bigot, and in so doing create a more efficient and pleasant work environment.”