[box cover]

Working Girl

She's got a head for business, a bod for sin, and some of the worst '80s hair ever captured on film. And, in Tess McGill, the sweet, determined heroine of Mike Nichols' romantic comedy Working Girl, Melanie Griffith also has one of the best roles of her career. A witty, observant movie that perfectly captures the cutthroat nature of the business world at the end of the Me Decade, Working Girl aptly turns Tess' struggle to move up the corporate ladder into a metaphor for classism. Tess, you see, works in Manhattan but hails from Staten Island, where giant coifs, blue eye-shadow, and shrill accents reign supreme. So despite her endless ambition and her efforts to improve herself with night classes and voice lessons, no one is willing to give her a chance to prove that she's capable of more than being a secretary. Finally, fed up and betrayed after finding out that her new boss Katharine (Sigourney Weaver, in a terrific parody of the patronizing, ball-busting, shoulder-padded corporate bitch) has stolen one of her ideas, Tess takes her big chance. While Katharine is laid up with a broken leg, Tess takes over, using Katharine's clothes, office, and cultured tones to put a big deal together. Along the way she falls in love with Jack (an appealingly silly Harrison Ford), a hungry deal-maker with a soft spot for tequila shots. She also dumps old boyfriend Mick (a much younger-looking Alec Baldwin), gets comfort and a reality check from best friend Cynthia (Joan Cusack, whose hair is even worse than Griffith's), gets groped by a coke-snorting Kevin Spacey, and spends quite a bit of time hanging out in her underwear. All of the actors do a fantastic job in Working Girl, especially the women — it's no wonder all three were nominated for Academy Awards. Their performances, combined with Kevin Wade's sharp-yet-earnest script and Nichols' subtle direction, elevate Working Girl above run-of-the-mill romantic comedies, as well as similarly themed business underdog movies like The Secret of My Success. Like its heroine, Working Girl wants to be more than people expect of it, and it delivers. Fox's DVD edition is pleasant, if thin on features. The anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) looks fine, and the English 3.0 surround sound is more than adequate. However, the only extras are two theatrical trailers and three TV spots — not much, considering what a favorite this film has been over the years (and a commentary with Nichols and/or the actors would have been a nice bonus). Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech



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