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A Secretarial Fantasy

Working Girl (1988)

Director: Mike Nichols
Writer: Keven Wade (Meet Joe Black) (1991)

Melanie Griffith - Tess McGill, a girl from Brooklyn who is unable to get ahead in business despite working hard and going to night school. Among her handicaps are trashy dressing, uneducated speech, sex appeal, honesty, and unassertiveness in the face of authority.

Sigourney Weaver - Katherine Parker, a successful and hypocritical broker who invites Tess to confide in her, promising to help her get ahead, but who steals a profitable idea with the intention of passing it off as her own.

Joan Cusack- Cyn, Tess's trashy, but loyal friend from Brooklyn.

Harrison Ford - Jack Trainer, a mediocre investment broker who is eager to help Tess go after a lucrative business venture.

Alec Baldwin - Mick Dugan, Tess's sleazy working class boyfriend who has sex with a mutual acquaintance, but still expects Tess to be loyal and eager to marry him.

The film appeals to our love of the underdog. Honest, hard-working Tess McGill does everything right, but she reaches her thirtieth birthday still stuck in an anonymous office job making coffee and being hit on by creeps pretending they want to help her career.

When her boss, Katherine Parker, breaks a leg in a skiing accident, she asks the ever-compliant Tess to look after her apartment during the crisis. When Tess accidentally discovers that Katherine intends to steal a very clever business idea, the worm turns. Tess decides to impersonate Katherine in order to pitch the idea herself. She improves her image by dressing and speaking like Katherine. She enlists the help of Jack Trainer and, after the usual mix-ups, succeeds in showing all the creeps in her life how wrong they were about her.

Carly Simon won an Oscar for Best Original Song ("Let the River Run"), and the film earned five Oscar nominations.

Melanie Griffith, nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, lost to Jodie Foster for her role in The Accused.

Both Joan Cusack and Sigourney Weaver received nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, losing out to Greena Davis in The Accidental Tourist.

Mike Nichols was nominated for Best Director, losing to Barry Levinson for Rain Man.

Douglas Wick (Producer) received a nomination for Best Picture, but lost to Mark Johnson, also for Rain Man.

Next time you come home from work feeling unappreciated and put upon, you might want to treat yourself to another viewing of Working Girl.

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