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Working Girl - A Movie Review

'Working Girl' implements strong messages about the business world.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read

Guide your path through the business world.

Working Girl is a 1988 film. Tess gets a new job as a secretary. She has never had luck in her career field, but this job may turn everything around. However, when her boss steals Tess’s idea, she poses as her boss to win back her plan.

Working Girl provides the work industry with an open lens to the cutthroat corporate world of America - from a woman’s perspective. Viewers don’t realize how important work-based films are. While the film excels in portraying the challenges faced by a young woman climbing the corporate ladder, it focuses too much on the romantic angle.

Melanie Griffith conducted an outstanding portrayal of Tess McGill. Off-camera Griffith’s alcohol addiction was so terrible that that she checked into a rehab. As for her performance, Tess is an empowering female character who breaks free to enforce leadership. She is an example to all women to keep fighting for their voices.

Famous for his role as Indiana Jones, this film marked the first romantic comedy for Harrison Ford. As an investment broker and Tess’s love interest, Jack Trainer is a charmer. Griffiths and Ford had great on-screen chemistry. However, I wasn’t impressed with his character’s outcome.

Sigourney Weaver doesn’t disappoint as Tess’s hard-working boss, Kimberly. Weaver deserved more screen time! She had an applicable reason for her absence, but Kimberly should have re-entered the story sooner. Tess and Kimberly have an intriguing dynamic where they should have confronted their business rivalry more.

Joan Cusack, Alec Baldwin, and Nora Dunn appear in supporting roles. I didn’t recognize Joan Cusack under her retro hairstyle. Cusack was splendid as Tess’s best friend, Cyn. This is another role we need more from Cusack and this film.

The film also contains cameos by several actors just starting their careers. Special mentions include Olympia Dukakis, Oliver Platt, and David Duchovny.

In his direction, Mike Nichols chose to make the business world authentic. Griffith and Weaver shadowed female executives of business firms to prepare for their roles to get an idea of the industry through the female perspective. The film’s authentic focus on the work field is generated well, but something is missing.

The business world storytelling gets lost in the triangle romance fiasco. Like most films, the main character gets too preoccupied with finding romance over business needs. Tess’s character worked better in her track to pursuing career-focused goals. Romance is a beneficial part of life, but movies need a break from the trope.

The romance between Tess and Jack is more random than meeting story needs. While romance adds depth and complexity to the storytelling, I would have preferred to see Tess and Kimberly challenge business ideas instead of winning Jack’s attention. The film overshadows a compelling narrative and diminishes Tess’s character arc.

Working Girl implements strong messages about the business world. You should always watch your back and take consideration of your ideas. As I have learned since graduating college, growing your career is an exciting process. You may discover careers you never thought about or positions you never realized you’re suitable for.

I liked the film’s music choices. I was so happy when Carly Simon’s ‘Let the River Run’ played. I sang ‘Let the River Run’ in several of my chorus concerts in high school. It’s a beautiful and uplifting song. The song won several awards after this film.

Working Girl is a driven and funny picture. The film was adapted as a Broadway musical in 2017. Check out this 80s classic.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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  • Allwyn Roman Waghelaabout a month ago

    One of the few Hollywood movies which shows the actual women empowerment

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