(dir. Mike Nichols, 1988)
I've spent years trying to locate this movie and watch it. No, I admit that it's not the hardest movie to find, but I could just never get a hold of it on Netflix or the library or whatever. And finally it appeared on Instant Queue and my long wait was finally over (merely by saying "Honey, Harrison Ford is in it," I convinced my fiancée to sit down and watch it with me).
You always hear Working Girl references as being very, very 80s in both fashion and design. After watching the whole thing, I'm less shocked and more flabbergasted that it was so beloved at the 1988 Academy Awards. I hardly find anything to dislike about a film that's nominated for some kind of Oscar; I may not love every film nominated, but I can at least appreciate why some people like it, but about this film, I have nothing good to say.
Well, Weaver was good. But the buck stops there. Oh, and the song "Let the River Run" by Carly Simon. There was one particularly good scene at the beginning of the film, where Griffith is set up with a trashy businessman perfectly played by an ageless Kevin Spacey.
Joan Cusack and Harrison Ford were both criminally underused and hardly present. Ford's allotted one good scene, and after that the rest of his character and thereby his performance are nothing short of predictable. Cusack could have had a juicy part, but really is only able to shine in one scene that takes place about halfway into the film; after that, she basically disappears and Griffith's full lingerie set becomes her new sidekick.
The most painful part for me, though, was that no one changed in the film. No character has an arch, there's very little evolution. At the beginning, McGill was tough-headed and business-minded, and at the end she still is, but the only difference is people's perception of her. Ford's character certainly doesn't change, since he's never painted as anything close to the other Wall Street snakes in the film, so when he has a heart of gold at the end there's no big reveal there (he doesn't even sleep with Griffith the night the drunkenly meet and she sleeps over). Cusack's Cyn isn't carefully imagined enough by the screenwriter to even have a change, so the only thing that evolves on her is the amount of eyeliner and hairspray she uses. Not even Weaver could manage an arch; witch at the beginning and witch at the end. This, I think, is why I couldn't care about any character...they were just all so flat and boring. This movie was about a working girl, but it's a movie that needs a lot of work to get through. The costumes are the highlights. GRADE: D-