25 March 1999 | Chris-463
A dated but enjoyable satire
Watching Working Girl ten years after its release, it's hard not to dismiss it as a dated satire of the corporate world of the 1980's. At the same time, that's part of the movie's charm. Even though ten years has made the costumes, hair, and production design irritating, the charm and intelligence of Mike Nichols' Cinderella story still shine through. As does the quality of the performances, which are also revealing a decade later. Harrison Ford makes a perfectly likable romantic lead while Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey offer amusingly smarmy comic performances. But the actresses walk away with the movie. Joan Cusack is hilarious in a scene-stealing turn as a Staten Island secretary, and Sigourney Weaver is great as a shrewd and conniving career woman. The brilliance of Weaver's performance is how slyly and genuinely she plays her villianous character, often decieving the audience as she decieves the characters in the movie. And finally there is Melanie Griffith who gave a star-is-born performance as the big-haired secretary who falls in love with Ford's merger specialist and smartly climbs her way up the corporate ladder after Weaver stabs her in the back. Griffith earned an Oscar nod for this performance (as did Cusack and Weaver for theirs) and it's a testament to how funny, sexy, and wonderful she is in the part that even after numerous flops and odd career moves, she's still a well-known movie star ten years later (For an opposite side at this scenario look at Jennifer Beals in Flashdance or Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, both of whom became big stars and then fell off the face of the earth). Nichols' direction is smart, as is Kevin Wade's clever screenplay, and the light and funny romantic comedy leads up to a surprisingly suspenseful and enormously satisfying climax. All-in-all, a satisfying and amusing entertainment.