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Clockwatchers (1997)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  15 May 1998 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,875 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 40 critic

Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her... See full summary »

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Title: Clockwatchers (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jane
Helen FitzGerald ...
Cleo
...
Art
...
Eddie
...
Mr. MacNamee
...
Barbara
...
Mr. Kilmer
...
Milton Lasky
...
Bud Chapman
Scott Mosenson ...
Jack Shoberg
Irene Olga López ...
Coffee Lady (as Irene Olga Lopez)
...
Global Credit Receptionist
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Storyline

Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture. Written by Vanessa Exum <vexum@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Waiting for your life to change... can be a full time job. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avokonttorin prinsessat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,838 (USA) (15 May 1998)

Gross:

$444,354 (USA) (21 August 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Iris addresses the recommendation letter that she got for Margaret, she writes her last name as Burrell, when it is actually Burre. See more »

Quotes

Iris Chapman: I once read that there are two kinds of time: mechanical and human. You could say my story began at 8:59 the day I started that job, and ended months later, when I left it. But I'd tell you it began in the past, with my old self; and ended in the future, the new one.
See more »


Soundtracks

Magenta Mountain
Written by Les Baxter
Performed by Les Baxter
Published by Skyview Music Corp./Bax Music (ASCAP)
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

Sprecher's perceptive, sad slice of reality
19 February 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Inappropriately marketed as a comedy, Clockwatchers is actually a sad, almost disturbing slice-of-life concerning the empty lives of four office temps and the realistic and/or idealized ways they seek to escape their individual predicaments. This low-key, purposefully bland drama, with spare touches of humor from Margaret (Parker Posey), is steeped in realism, making it all the sadder.

Margaret, Paula, and Jane befriend Iris, the central character, at her new temp job. Margaret is loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed, and smart. Paula (Lisa Kudrow) is a young woman with fast-fading beauty, loose morals, and no hope for a future. Jane (Alanna Ubach) is biding her time waiting for her man to marry her and take her away from the temp world. And Iris (Toni Collette) is intelligent but timid. Unlike her new friends, she has the opportunity to score a real job at an interview that her father has lined up for her; however, low self-esteem, shyness, and a new-found friendship with the office girls contribute to her procrastination. Outward, upward mobility seems to scare her.

One day Iris stares blankly at her empty diary. Her temp job affects her so badly that she can find nothing to write about; she's been turned into a mindless zombie. During a moment of introspection, she thinks, `Sometimes it hits you, how quickly the present fades into the past. And you question everything around you. You wonder if anything you'd ever do would matter, or if you could just disappear without a trace.' Jill and Karen Sprecher's script is punctuated with perceptive, thought provoking lines, many of which comment on the individual's insignificance in society. Early in the film, Margaret comments on how `a person can just drift through life like they're not connected to anyone or anything.' Later, Iris admits that `even if a person wanted to break free, they could find out they've got nowhere else to go.'

Ultimately, the Sprechers' four-character quasi-study can be applied to everyone, every day. Some characters move on, thus positively changing their lives forever; others, whether out of preference, procrastination, or lack of education, stay put, forever locked in dead-end jobs. At the film's end, Iris realizes that improving her situation can come only from `never hiding, never sitting silently, and never just waiting -- and waiting -- and watching the world go by.' Clockwatchers may be a `small' film with a soft voice, but at least it has something to say.


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Any temp 'horror' stories you'd like to share? jumpingjoe821
The Ending was very sad..... wakkadakka
Can't stop watching it? Green-Winger
Complaints and Questions kayeanna77
What happens to characters at end of movie? ronaldsnelgrove
Rising cult hit? ombudsgirl
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