Laurel Ayres is a businesswoman trying to make it but unfortunately she works at a investment firm where she does all the work but all the senior investors like Frank Peterson grab all the credit. She then leaves and starts her own firm. While trying to find clients Laurel pretends that she has a male partner named Robert Cutty. And when she starts to do well all of her clients wants to meet Cutty which is difficult since he doesn't exist.Written by
Actress Roma Mofia appears in one scene very briefly as a reporter trying to interview Mr. Cutty. She was uncredited in the film; and can only be seen for a few seconds asking questions along with other actors in a huddle. See more »
In the scene where the police are interrogating Laurel, there is a photo that is leaning up against the ashtray that was not in the previous shot. The next shot shows that photo is gone but in the shot after that, it is moved to a different spot but still leaning against the ashtray. See more »
I always enjoy Whoopi Goldberg in films, and the 1996 film "The Associate" is no exception. Based on a French film, it's the story of a Laurel Ayres (Goldberg) who is having trouble "making it" in a man's world, though she's smarter than all of them. After being manipulated and beaten out of a promotion at her old job by slick Frank (Tim Daly), Laurel starts her own company and quickly goes nowhere. She gets some help from an assistant at the old firm, Sally (Diane Wiest) and ultimately decides to make up a male associate, Robert Cutty. It works like a charm, and business is flying in the door. However, everyone is most anxious to meet Cutty, and there comes a point when she has to produce him. And when she does, he's obviously been based on Marlon Brando - the older Marlon Brando.
This is an amusing film that could have been hilarious. It does have some great moments, though, and likable characters in Goldberg and Wiest. Other fine performances include those of Daly, Lainie Kazan as a cutting columnist and Eli Wallach as a client.
The other problem I have with the film is that it is sorely dated. It's hard to believe that, while sexism still exists, Laurel would have so much trouble from the old boys' network in 1996. Sure enough, as I suspected, the film on which it is based was done in 1979. Remington Steele, a TV series based on the same premise, was produced in the '80s.
Surely in 1996, a woman of Laurel's obvious talent would have been more appreciated where she worked and could have launched a successful business without a fake male associate. Anne Mulcahy of Xerox and Ho Ching of Temasek Holdings are only two examples of such powerful executives from the 1990s.
Still, it's entertaining and fun, and a reminder that they don't make this kind of comedy anymore.
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