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I know it's a 'chick-flick' but I can't help but like this 1980 Comedy
about 3 women played by Jane Fonda,Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton (who
also sang the titlesong) who work as secretary's for a
mean,horrible,sexist pig (a tailor made role for Dabney Coleman) who
decide enough is enough and so plan their revenge.
I've heard of this movie for quite sometime, but didn't watch it because I didn't think it was my cup of tea, How wrong I was, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie from start to finish
The movie is quite dated (all the ladies use typewriters-which have since been turned into antiques by the onset of Computers.
It's well Directed by Colin Higgins who had previously Written and Directed the equally enjoyable Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn Crime Comedy 'Foul Play'.
Followed By not one but TWO TV series based on the film 1982-1983 and 1986-1988 without the Stars and probably suffers as a result
all in all a very enjoyable 1980's Comedy that was a major hit on it's original release 24 years ago.
My Rating ***1/2 out of ***** or 7/10
Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical
bigot (Dabney Coleman) find a way to turn the tables on him.
I really knew nothing about this film going into it, and did not necessarily have the highest of hopes. Judging a book by its cover, this could be seen as a "chick flick", but it is most certainly not. This is a clever, humorous comedy that really came at the right time.
This is an especially good role for Lily Tomlin, who has plenty of good roles in her career. The morgue sequence... wow. That is some dark, morbid humor that was completely unexpected, but also saved the picture for me. Sometimes you just need a little darkness to get the laughs.
9 to 5 is a very cute light-hearted comedy. It is worth viewing - if
you have not seen it yet then you should if you are a fan of comedy
films. It's quite funny to watch Jane, Lily and Dolly get back at their
very stubborn no good male chauvinist boss played by Dabney Coleman.
I think the movie shows woman power (female wisdom/intelligence as well) - women are stronger and smarter than what they think in a comical way. And the movie shows how some bosses misuse and abuse their position/power - being a no good boss is in fact, not good in a humorous manner.
This movie would make a great matinée to liven up any afternoon. Make it a double feature with "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" "Witches of Eastwick".
Colin Higgens directed and wrote this hit comedy that stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as three office secretaries in a successful firm who must contend with their lecherous and overbearing boss Franklyn Hart(played by Dabney Coleman) who treats them like servants, and wont leave Parton alone(despite being married). The women fantasize about revenge(in a colorful series of vignettes) but unexpectedly get their chance one day, and things will never be the same again... Good cast, especially Coleman in a most memorable performance, and though it starts out well, it eventually takes a sharp-left turn into contrived absurdity, and never recovers, despite almost redeeming itself with a bright ending. Truly uneven.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What lawyer wouldn't have a field day if Nine to Five happened today?
Nine to Five is one of my all-time favorite comedies and as a comedy, with extreme deadpan delivery from Lily Tomlin (Violet) and excellent lines and acting from first-timer-at-the-time Dolly Parton (Doralee,) it still works. Sadly, this is the Stone Age when it comes to office politics and, of course, equipment. This is not to say sexist remarks or promoting males faster than females still doesn't occur, but I cannot imagine, as a whole, it's this blatant.
While that's not a flaw, it was what it was 33 years ago, the movie's only flaw that I could concede is that it went on for far too long. It didn't know where to cut or when to end. And still, even with that minor fault, it's still amusing and fun through to the end.
I truly loved this movie and it begins solid with one of my all-time favorite movie songs, the same name of the film and sung by the star, Parton. Following that, I loved the fact that the three central characters, Violet, Doralee and Judy (Jane Fonda) weren't exactly friends at first, but become allies when their over-the-top "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss wrongs them. While the movie was already fun at that point mainly thanks to, again Tomlin and Parton, this is where the sh|t gets real funny.
From merely complaining, to pot smoking their way into incredible laughs (from both them and us) of their fantasies of getting retribution, to almost and inadvertently bringing one of their ideas to life, these ladies get in deep when trying to deal with the soulless boss.
While I stated the movie, sadly, is dated for 1980 or that timeframe, it's also unfortunate that the same stereotypical coworkers exist today. Maybe that's reason #38 why I like this movie so much; I can relate as I've worked in offices since March 1996 and have seen all kinds of these characters portrayed here, in the almost equally hilarious Office Space and in pretty much any Dilbert strip.
Now, that said, allow me to make sure I am revealing a positive. These secondary and third-tier characters make the movie even better. They're hilarious ("Atta, Girl" said three times almost back-to-back is one of my favorite lines and so true from the office drunk) and realistic (there's ALWAYS an untrustworthy office spy/boss, kiss-up "Roz" character to deal with.) On the front end, there's also always the sarcastic and down beaten "Violet" (which is usually me,) the optimistic "Doralee" and the newbie, "Judy," who ALWAYS will soon learn the hard way. Now, though I've encountered my share of horrible bosses as well as awesome human managers, I've never worked under the reigns of the terrible "Mr. Hart" (played deliciously by Dabney Coleman,) although I know they exist as do his superiors as portrayed in this film.
I didn't work in 1980 I was at the young age of ___ then, and my mom was still a stay-at-home mother when this was released, but I know these events in the movie happened in real life and I am glad these talented ladies could theatrically fight for women's rights. It might not have seemed like a political film, and perhaps it wasn't meant that way, but I bet this brought to light a lot of the disgusting things that occurred to the female workers of the late 1970s, early 1980s.
Oh, and speaking of that era, I've read and been told countless times that "Jane Fonda was the DEVIL for her war-time actions" prior to the movie's creation. While she wasn't my favorite part or character of the movie, she was still enjoyable in her role. I do my very best to stay out of filmmakers/star's politics. If I didn't, I wouldn't have enjoyed so many Tom Cruise films and believe me, I have more fun in his action/comedy/suspense films than most actors over the past few decades.
On a personal note, it truly pains me to hear someone tell me not to watch Fonda's movies, or worse, wish her dead. Without getting into the details of what she did, or even the reasons why, I don't care one bit. "Did she entertain me when I watched this?" is the only question I should be asking myself and the answer was: yes.
I digress. This movie is hilarious, real fun, adventurous and it's one I could watch countless times, like I did as a kid. Highly recommended.
Side Note: That song, Parton's Nine to Five, isn't just one of my favorite movie tracks, it's one of my all-time favorite songs. And funny story: when I was a kid and I would, indeed, watch this movie over and over, or listen to that song from one of my mother's, ah-hem, record player, repeatedly, I always thought the first few lines read:
Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen; Pouring myself a cup of bitchin'
I was shocked, growing up in a swear-free household, at that word! It truly intrigued me. Until, of course, I grew up, got, what we call now: digital music, clear-sounding movies and, obviously, internet, and learned the true word was: "ambition."
Eh, I think both fits.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jane, Lily, Dolly and Dabney Coleman have fun in this classic comedy and so will you. It's not about unionization of the work place. That came a little later. But female office workers of a certain age will remember the humiliations inflicted on them by their male bosses and maybe the role played by female tattle tales. We watched 9 to 5 in streaming video and three of us had a good time doing so. The chase scenes with a dead body (mistaken identity) is especially hilarious. All three of the female leads are splendid. I'm not sure, however, that Dabney Coleman doesn't steal the show as their hateful boss. It was a life-saving diversion from all those election ads which we see because we're next door to a swing state. Neither of the Presidential candidates bothered campaigning in Maryland, among the bluest of the blue states. As the most recent of the GOP candidates for governor explained, they've got the organization, they've got the money, they've got the message. What they haven't got is the voters.
If have ever worked in an office atmosphere,felt undue pressures from your bosses and fantasized about getting revenge,or just want to have some good laughs,Nine to Five is for you.It's just one of those films where all of those people that are entrusted to bring forth a great finished product went above and beyond.It is excellently written,casted,and acted.You would expect seasoned veterans like Dabney Coleman,Lily Tomlin,and Jane Fonda to deliver,which they do,but the biggest surprise was Dolly Parton,in her first film,proving to us that her talents were not limited to her singing.Fortunately,her great singing talents were made part of the mix,and that makes it all the better.
Three female office workers have had it with their chauvinistic male
boss. So they band together for revenge. It's all in good fun. Viewers
get some laughs and get treated to a lesson in the power of feminism.
For a 1980s film, the premise is fine. And the plot starts out okay. But the middle Act fantasies stretch out too long, which slows down the plot. The kidnapping segment doesn't work at all. It's just too preposterous, and gets the film seriously off track. Two of the three main characters, Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Doralee (Dolly Parton) fit right in. But Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) is too new to the office, and too innocent and naïve, to be recruited into an insider's role.
Casting is mixed. With her comedic background and those squinting eyes, scheming Lily Tomlin is a hoot. And chirpy Dolly Parton adds a 3-D look and feel ... so to speak. But Jane Fonda seems out of place as an office worker. Prod design looks credible, again for the 1980s, though those typewriters sure date the picture, as do the clothes. What I liked best was the catchy title song, by Dolly Parton, with its appropriate theme and disco beat.
The film has its funny moments like, for example, when Roz, the overbearing admin assistant, hands Violet, the Lily Tomlin character, a memo admonishing Violet about the rules of "office décor". Violet takes the memo and then responds sarcastically: "Thanks Roz, I know just where to stick it."
But overall, the second-half plot is just too outlandish to have any credibility, even as comedy. It's like the writers were trying a little too hard. The satire comes through but it's not nearly as caustic or biting as that of the much superior predecessor film, with similar themes: "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" (1967).
"Nine To Five" offers the viewer a look back at typical 1980s comedy. It's a film with charm and verve, but it lacks the razor-sharp writing and biting social commentaries of earlier films about office politics.
When I first saw this in theaters in 1980, I never imagined I'd be sitting here in 2011 (November) writing about it. Probably because there was no Internet/World Wide Web in 1980, but I digress. This picture is now 31 years old and it has aged gracefully. Lilly, Dolly and Jane in arguably their best roles ever really shine. You can tell they were having fun filming this movie. Dabney Coleman is true to form as the evil boss and the supporting characters are equally funny ("... atta girl"). When they manage to remove the boss from the office, everything changes. Better pay, redecorating of the entire floor, relaxed atmosphere, flowers, job-sharing (2 employees split a full time shift so they can spend the other half of the day with their kids), in-house day care and lots more. When F-ART (Franklin Hart) returns, will Dora, Violet and Judy be able to keep the changes or get fired? This picture holds up well... my favorite part is Violet's "fantasy" with Bambi, Thumper and the other animals and birds. Very, very, very funny. 8 out of 10, even 31 years later.
In view of the activist aggression of this revenge fantasy, it might be
apt that the funniest performance in the film is by Dabney Coleman, who
plays unfair, chauvinistic company superior Hart. Hart is a fun bad
guy, a bird-brained horndog so in the throes of his trifling
infatuations that he's not beyond knocking his pencils on the floor so
he can peep Parton picking them up on her hands and knees, her cleavage
showing. There's some message sent by the fact that the biggest laughs
in this feminist candygram hinge on wholehearted, unashamed sexism.
Colin Higgins' infectiously amusing little 80s comedy starts as satire, skids indecisively into farce, and ends by intently flying the banner of feminism. It has some incredibly amusing moments, and then it has some key constituents that fall short, including some of its pot-induced fantasy sequences. It's pleasing entertainment notwithstanding its lopsided features and a plot that's almost too ridiculous for the material. The movie is present in the convention of 1940s screwball comedies. It's about ridiculous events befalling droll exaggerations of recognizable types, and, like those Hawks, McCarey and Stevens pictures, it's also laced with a mortal dose of social commentary.
The implication in this case involves women's lib, particularly with the position of women in the corporate workplace. Fonda, Tomlin and Parton all work in the same office. Tomlin is the well-organized and very seasoned office manager. Fonda is the tenderfoot, having a go at her first job after a divorce. Parton is the boss's secretary, and everybody in the office thinks she's having an affair with him, so the other women won't have anything to do with her, until she finds out who's been spreading that rumor.
Played by Dabney Coleman, Hart is unkind, exasperatingly self-righteous in his status quo worldview, with an immense and genuine yearning for Parton. She's having none of it. After the movie hosts some human and labor rights issues like equal pay and merit promotion, the movie expands into a peculiar plot to hijack Coleman in an effort to secure equality. He ends up swinging from the ceiling of his bedroom, fastened by wire to a garage-door opener.
This entire kidnapping sequence moves so far toward unreserved travesty that it injures the movie's more realistic opening scenes. But maybe we don't actually care. We realize immediately that this is consciously a frivolous film, notwithstanding its yolk of sociopolitical import. And, affording the obligatory indulgences, we just lay back and enjoy it.
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