Thursday, January 17, 2008

Holly Go Homely: Working Girl


The other night when I came home, Jeff greeted me with a bottle of wine and a DVD of Working Girl, a legendary ‘80s movie that I had – gasp! – never seen. At first I thought, ‘What straight man rents Working Girl of his own volition?!’, but then I remembered that Jeff is on a Mike Nichols kick since we saw Charlie Wilson’s War last week. I relaxed and embraced the beautiful duet that is red wine and a young Harrison Ford.

My expectations for the movie were high, but they were met with gusto. Melanie Griffith’s acting – much like Andie MacDowell’s -- usually drives me to want to hurt small animals (it’s genetic – try to sit through Tippi Hedren’s eye-crossingly terrible performance in Marnie ... not even the young Sean Connery can save you), but in this she is actually tolerable (much like Andie stopped sucking temporarily to make sex, lies and videotape), even likable, compared to Sigourney Weaver’s self-satisfied power-80s bitch. Melanie plays a big-haired Staten Islander who wears scrunch socks and high-top Reeboks, so it’s kind of hard not to fall in love. And Joan Cusack as her friend is exactly what I want my secretary to look, talk, and act like should I ever find myself in the enviable position of having one. Harrison Ford is bumbling and charming, not yet having gone through his Jack Nicholson transformation of the early aughts (see also: being perpetually stoned, wearing sunglasses indoors, dating a stick figure), and Alec Baldwin suddenly loses twenty years and 70 pounds to become a young, guido Alec Baldwin with a truly impressive growth of chest hair. There’s a plot, too, but this movie hardly needs one – it is awesome by the end of the opening credits. Also by the end of my second glass of wine (which came first? One forgets).

Anyway, Netflix this pronto. Try not to watch the end with a mixture of elation and depression – “Oh! She’s just another corporate cog in the giant wheel of life! But she’s so... happy!” – cursing Carly Simon for rocking so hard, forcing you to cry while your husband looks on, shaking his head in shame.
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