9 To 5: “Pour yourself a cup of ambition” this International Women’s Day
Today is International Women's Day!
If you're like me, you'll celebrate it by greeting everyone with, "YOU get a tampon! YOU get an abortion! YOU get a vibrator! YOU get pay equity!" in your best Oprah Winfrey voice.
If that's not so much your style, consider instead taking a look back at one of the funniest, screwballiest and fabulously feminist takes on women in the workplace ever made - 9 TO 5. (Alternately, try belting the Oscar-nominated eponymous track at your next karaoke gig - instant crowd pleaser!
This office farce involves three women - Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton (her film debut) and Lily Tomlin - who find themselves under the mercenary rule of their Male Chauvinist Pig of a boss, Mr. Hart (a perfectly on-point Dabney Coleman).
Madcap hilarity and murderous fantasy sequences (Tomlin's take on a cheerily murderous Snow White, complete with animated animal helper friends, is classic) ensue before the ladies unwittingly find themselves in the role of kidnapper; they hold Hart captive, bound and hogtied to a contraption operated by a garage door opener. While the boss is away the women take over the office and institute policies like equal pay, flexible job-share for working moms and an office daycare center. They even find the time to restyle the office interior and rehab the office lush!
It's not all glossy either; the film does touch on the topic of girl-on-girl hate and office politics when the beautifully busty Doralee (Parton) is ostracized and gossiped about by her female co-workers, who believe that the preferential treatment she receives from Mr. Hart is because they're sleeping together. In reality, Doralee ("But Mr. Hart, I'm a married woman!") spends her days fighting off his overt and inappropriate sexual advances behind closed doors.
Ultimately the three women find common ground in their various circumstances and become empowered when they band together and forge a successful scheme to better their work environment. As much a social commentary as it is a lighthearted comedy, it is shocking (or, alternately, depressing) how many of the themes and issues presented in 9 TO 5 are just as relevant in 2012 as when it was released in 1980.
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