Tess McGill’s a secretary, bottom of the corporate ladder.
As she tries and fails to climb it, she gets more upset and sadder.
Sick of jobs where sleazy bosses chase her round the desk all day,
She gets a job with Katharine Parker, whom she’s happy to obey.
For Katharine’s nice and treats Tess well, encouraging her secretary,
Tess is so relieved to have a boss who doesn’t seem contrary.
Bringing Katharine her idea about a radio acquisition,
Tess is sure she has no reason to have any bad suspicion.
Then, while skiing, Katharine’s injured; she’ll be out a couple weeks.
So Tess, with Katharine’s voice recorded, practices her voice techniques,
Until she hears, from Katharine’s mouth, that Katharine stole her radio plan,
And, back at home, Tess finds another woman sleeping with her man.
Choosing then to take control of where her life and job are going,
Tess decides to act like Katharine’s colleague, with nobody knowing.
Using Katharine’s clothes and office, Tess avails her expertise
To pitch the thought of radio as perfect for Trask Industries.
She needs somebody else to help: Jack Trainer, who’s behind her plan,
Which gets Trask into media and stops a seizure from Japan.
Jack also brought Tess home one night when she had had too much to drink,
But still they work together better than that start might have one think.
Flattery and wedding crashing get them where they want to be,
And then – surprise! – they fall in love. But who could possibly foresee
That Katharine had been dating Jack, who says he’d rather be with Tess?
But when Miss Parker comes back home, she snatches Tess’s great success.
The truth is known, and Katharine (with her crutches) gets the sympathy,
But Jack decides that he believes Tess, though the others disagree.
Yet when Trask attempts to ask how each of them derived the plan,
Kate draws a blank but Tess can say, convincing them that she’s their man.
In the end, Tess goes to work for Trask, who’s thoroughly impressed.
Dating Jack, her love life too has also been immensely blessed.
Though, at first, she thinks she’s back to cubicles and making do,
Soon she sees that she has power and an office with a view.

Working Girl is a Cinderella story set against the backdrop of the New York banking industry, but this time the damsel transforms her own life without any magical assistance. The acting and the story are outstanding, particularly the performances of Melanie Griffith as Tess, Harrison Ford as Jack, and Sigourney Weaver as Katharine. (Despite the star power and several Oscar nominations, the film only won for best song, and Ford was snubbed entirely.) The characters have humor and charm to spare, and, even with the girl power message, I, as a guy, still enjoyed it. My VC, as a chick, loved it.

I will say that the director and writer included some completely unnecessary adult content, such as language and two scenes of nudity, that detracted from the film overall and was probably thrown in there just to get the Oscar-worthy R rating. Plus, as I mentioned in my previous review for Entrapment, the story has the two leads inevitably and unimaginatively sleep together.

The best part of the whole film, in my opinion, is the Oscar-winning song “Let the River Run,” which plays at the beginning and end and definitely deserves a spot in my End Credits Song Hall of Fame. It’s incredibly lovely and inspiring, though one can’t help but sigh when the Twin Towers are shown so prominently in the opening. (The lobby scenes were even shot in the World Trade Center.) Though it could have been cleaner and the financial jargon flew way over my head, Working Girl is nevertheless a fun and very entertaining romantic comedy.

Best line: (Jack, after Tess has completely passed out from Valium and alcohol) “Would you like a nightcap?”

VC’s best line: (guy) “She took a muscle relaxant for the flight down.”  (Katharine, giddily) “Oh, let’s all have one, shall we?”

Artistry: 6
Characters/Actors: 8
Entertainment: 7
Visual Effects: N/A (unless you count those huge ‘80s hairdos)
Originality: 6
Watchability: 7
Other (language and nudity): -7
Other (great song): 1
TOTAL: 28 out of 60

Tomorrow: #343 – Lars and the Real Girl

© 2014 S. G. Liput