Bongo wants to take a show.
M. Whittier | Minneapolis, MN United States | 04/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Working Girls (not to be confused with the singular and singularly awful Mike Nichols movie that features Melanie Griffith vacuuming a carpet, nakedly) is an easily underestimated accomplishment, and despite the rampant nudity and unblinking depictions of adult sexuality, a guaranteed sex-deterrent. It's hilarious, embarassing, grim, deeply disturbing, cynical, touching, clinical and creepily locker-room-intimate, all at the same time. There will be those people who can't make it past the low budget vibe that (admittedly) permeates the whole movie, but anyone who criticizes its occasionally stilted acting (and it's an easy target) misses the point: it's PROSTITUTION. Which is to say that paid sex is possibly the root source of all bad acting. Even having said that, the performances are deceptively understated in their squirmy, quasi-nude ease. The characters of Lucy and Dawn especially, are horrifically too-true. I walked around mimicking Lucy's idiotic "What's new and different?" for weeks. Dawn's gum-snapping hostility, and her impromptu James Brown imitation ("Good God, Mollie- you're a whoooore!") are as grating as they are winning. Singling these two actresses out is unfair though; their characters are especially dynamic, given that they're essentially opposing ends of the same spectrum of self absorption. Even the least likely supporting roles are realized with unexpected complexity. Witness Lucy, the house's madam, reprimanding Mary, a mousy new 'girl' for her unappealing wardrobe choice on her first night on the job. When Lucy reminds her condescendingly that she is to dress as though she "just came from lunch with her mother, and is on hew way to meet her boyfriend for drinks", Mary replies in a small voice, with a discomfiting mixture of stubborness and shame, "This is what I wore." Possibly the most remarkable aspect of this movie is the realization that prostitution, at least at this elevated level (the 'girls' work in a clean, modern apartment, and schedule 'appointments' through phone ads listed mostly in upscale skin magazines) is just another daily grind, a job, plain and simple. Ellen McElduff's Lucy is every thoughtless, self-absorbed boss you've ever wanted to throttle; the difference is that she's seen you naked, and can talk about your sex life with no legal repercussions. That's glib, of course; each of the 'girls' is seen to struggle with the work, and what it means in a larger sense, politically and personally. Finally though, just as it seems uncompromisingly grim, the film sneaks in a remarkable twist. It's essential to watch to the very end of the closing credits though, or you might miss a moment that offers a lovely moment of reassurance, and tender domesticity."
A Good Independent Film
turtlex | PA USA | 07/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First - for those who may be confused a bit - this is NOT the Melanie Griffith / Harrison Ford movie - Working Girl !!!!This film, by independent filmmaker Lizzie Borden, caused quite the stir in it's day. When first released, on a very limited basis, it was hailed for it's true-life, non-glarmorus dipiction of prostitutes.The film has aged fairly well. The fashion, however, has not .The story follows Molly, a working girl, on a day in the life sort of journey. The filmmaking is sparce, but effective. This is no "Pretty Woman", nor is it intended to be. We're presented with a Big City Brothel and it's employees. There's nothing fancy or particularily beautiful about them - though some of the "girls" are attractive. The main point, I believe, is that this is a JOB. It's a harsh reality look at what some women do for money. It's not slicked over and it's now over-drawn, the film presents prostitution clearly and, more importantly, without judgement.The script is on the money and a good script is always a good place to start. There are no exotic locales - we're mainly invited into the brothel - an upper class condo/apartment. It's a bleak sort of existance.I'd recommend this film to the Independent Movie lover. It's one of the first and finest examples of what a limited budget, a good script and a good director can do.Recommended.Best Regards, turtlex"