Fantastic true-to-life office job movie
liz blue eyes | 05/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""9 to 5" is up there with "Working Girl" and "Office Space" for presenting the office worker's plight while also showing some seriously hysterical humor.
I've always said if there was one character that represented my mom best in cinema, it's Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin's character). As the senior supervisor of Consolidated, Violet does most of the work and gets none of the credit. Without a college degree, despite her great brain and ample work knowledge, she is passed over time and time again for promotion. Lily Tomlin realistically and humorously portrays this character so well that it's astounding. Her interactions with Franklin Hart (played by the quietly brilliant Dabney Coleman) are absolutely dead-on 1980 (and before) scenes that could have occurred in any office. My mom said she was falling over laughing in the theater (she went to see it in 1980 when it was originally out) because it was all so true-to-life.
Jane Fonda is equally believable, if not as likeable, as the other actors here. Her character, a mousy and long-married woman dealing with both a new job and an old marriage breaking up, is the naive one here. Not a bad portrayal, just not as interesting as the others.
Dolly Parton shines in her first movie role. She elevates this movie, with both her fabulous theme song and her Southern charm. I kid you not, there are some brains behind that beauty. She is a total natural and perhaps even funnier in this movie than Lily Tomlin (a difficult feat, and nearly impossible for a new actress). Dolly's time with Dabney Coleman is funny, charming and just plain special.
To the viewer, it may seem dated and perhaps just a vestage of our mothers' working world. But while some things change, some things stay the same. The glass-ceiling-pink-collar-ghetto still exists, it's just not as blatant and it's covered up under a lot of politically correct hogwash. If you work, you'll relate to this movie. It may be old, but it's still funny and still has a lot of relevance in today's world."
Labor Day Special
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 09/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I want to raise a glass to 9 to 5, a movie I didn't love love love when it first came out, 30 years ago, but now it looks brilliant. And despite all the changes in the world, the world of work is still just as grim as the movie suggests. How well the three stars interact! Many have commented on how Jane Fonda, the movie's producer and the biggest star present, seems to enjoy playing a dowdy-type nebbish and taking a backseat to the bigger personalities of Tomlin and Parton, but she has got some wonderful scenes on her own. Just to contrast, there's the pathetic scene when she comes home from her first horrible day at work and finds her husband at the apartment door. It's all in her face, the momentary hope that he's back, and then the disillusionment when instead he hands her the divorce papers, while his new girlfriend sits out front by the curb in his sportscar. Her absurd little corsage doesn't wilt, but her spirit does, though she tries to keep her cool.
Joan Fontaine in Letter to an Unknown Woman didn't do that kind of acting any better than Fonda here. But Jane also shines in the all-out Lucy Ricardo comedy when the monstrous Xerox machine goes out of control, spitting all colors of paper out at her and all she can do is keep shuffling them and trying to match their corners. In fact it's a scene worthy of Chaplin. Lily Tomlin has the fiery part, but her best scenes are at home, accepting a joint from her teenage son while she fixes the garage door opener on a stepladder. Ditto with Dolly complaining to her husband that the other girls treat her like she's trash, and she doesn't know why. "It's because you're so pretty," he tells her, and she protests, but she likes to hear that, doesn't she? I guess I like the movie because of its incisive picture of office life, and because of the spirit that its leading players (and even its supporting actors, like, is that Marian Mercer as Hart's wife?) give to the show. It's a comedy, so the first half is better than the second half, but it's got the right stuff a;; the way through."