6.5/10
4,342
110 user 42 critic

Clockwatchers (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 15 May 1998 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Jill Sprecher
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Three women's escapes from their afflicted lives. Each struggles to flee from the men who confine their personal freedom.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Iris Chapman
Parker Posey ... Margaret Burre
Lisa Kudrow ... Paula
Alanna Ubach ... Jane
Helen FitzGerald ... Cleo
Stanley DeSantis ... Art
Jamie Kennedy ... Eddie
David James Elliott ... Mr. MacNamee
Debra Jo Rupp ... Barbara
Kevin Cooney ... Mr. Kilmer
Bob Balaban ... Milton Lasky
Paul Dooley ... Bud Chapman
Scott Mosenson Scott Mosenson ... Jack Shoberg
Irene Olga López Irene Olga López ... Coffee Lady (as Irene Olga Lopez)
Joshua Malina ... 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:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avokonttorin prinsessat See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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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

Iris Chapman: It's funny how doubt hides itself. It follows behind you. It waits in every corner. You never see it coming. But you feel it, on the inside. Maybe it was just that office. Or maybe it was bigger than that, it was all around. A million eyes. Watching. Judging. The whole wide world even. You feel so small.
See more »


Soundtracks

Where is your Heart
(Moulin Rouge)
Music by Georges Auric
French lyrics by Jacques Larue
English lyrics by William Engvick
Performed by Musette of Paris
Used by permission of Gems-EMI Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Laserlight Digital
By arrangement of Source/Q
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User Reviews

 
Accuracy is never boring.
27 March 2001 | by alvoalvoSee 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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