6.4/10
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110 user 41 critic

Clockwatchers (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 15 May 1998 (USA)
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The relationship between four female temps all working for the same credit company is threatened with the arrival of a new hire, who lands a permanent position one of the women was vying for.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Art
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Eddie
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Barbara
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Bud Chapman
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Jack Shoberg
Irene Olga López ...
Coffee Lady (as Irene Olga Lopez)
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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

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|

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avokonttorin prinsessat  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,838, 17 May 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$444,354, 23 August 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lisa Kudrow and Bob Balaban worked together on Friends and Web Therapy. See more »

Goofs

When Paula says, "I'm so bad," after bumping into a guy on the bus, her mouth does not match the audio. See more »

Quotes

Margaret: You can't fire me. You don't even know my NAME.
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Soundtracks

Red Hat
Written by Joseph L. Altruda
Performed by Joey Altruda and His Cocktail Crew
Published by Josho Publishing/Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Accuracy is never boring.
27 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

I suppose the viewers who label Clockwatchers "boring" simply don't understand that dramas are MEANT to be slower than your garden-variety Indiana Jones or Die Hard. These "action" flicks are ten-times as dull as the corporate setting for this astonishing study on class, friendship, and inner-awareness. Or maybe it is the female perspective or "chick-flick" factor that turn certain people off. Or maybe temporary status in modern American business isn't relevant to everyone. Or the subtle, less gimmicky observations of reality.

Clockwatchers is all of these things at once. Toni Collette plays the ultra-shy newcomer to Global Credit, the ultimate transnational corporation, who slowly comes to realize that the doomed bond she makes with three other temps is an extremely sacred event in her life. Iris slowly gains confidence through such comradery and at one point she doesn't want to leave, even though her father has higher career expectations for his daughter. Iris comes full circle at the end of the film, confronts one of her many bosses whom plot against her, and atones for not standing with Parker Posey, who is the life of the party as Margaret.

The creators of this film are SO incredibly accurate in revealing what worklife is actually like (the boredom, sharing someone else's space, not knowing someone's name or them not knowing yours), that I felt almost honored to know I wasn't alone. (Movies that are this honest about despair are never depressing.) This is combined by the subtle observations of Iris, which I suppose aren't as exciting as blowing someone's head off or toilet humor, but intriguing nonetheless. It is finally layered with political analysis as the female temps organize a strike.

Suffice it to say, Clockwatchers covers a lot of ground, but the layers are folded well together in a way that makes you care about what happens to these characters and their station in life. A must-see sleeper for those who prefer (for example) Merchant & Ivory over Van Damme & Seagal. 9 out of 10.


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