The movie “Working Girl” that was released in 1988 is arguably the best role that Melanie Griffith ever had in her career. It is also one of the few roles that Harrison Ford ever made during this era where he was not the lead actor and in this movie; he played the eventual boyfriend of Melanie Griffith’s character. When I was experiencing this movie for the first time almost 30 years ago I was reminded why I go to the movies as often as I do. Firstly, because of my ambition to be a screenwriter, which is a very difficult profession to break into but mostly to relate to life situations that we all face every day.
The movie Working Girl captured the frustrations and outrage of a young woman trying to rise above herself because of her belief that she deserved better than her lot in life regardless of the opinions of other people who were deciding her fate because she had to make a living as a secretary. The problem with working for companies and other people is that your ability to advance is directly correlated to your ability to impress others and not just to complete your work every day. It is not enough that you complete a task very well, it must then follow that other people have to recognize what you have accomplished and then have the integrity to step aside and allow you to take credit for what you did. More simply stated, when you work for someone else, then your future is in the hands of someone else and no longer in your control. This is the fundamental message behind the movie Working Girl.
Sigourney Weaver played an evil, condescending, backstabbing and credit stealing boss of Melanie Griffith better than anyone I have ever seen in any movie. The great thing about movies is that we recognize characteristics and evil in the characters and relate them to people we know in our own experiences. Movies are also great because very often then have a satisfying ending where the hated antagonist gets what they deserve in the end and this unfortunately, does not happen very often in real life.
One the scenes that impressed me the most with Sigourney Weaver’s part in this movie was the moment where she found out that Melanie Griffith’s character had taken back her own idea and was going to present it at a meeting after she was injured in a skiing accident. Weaver’s outrage at this moment was an outstanding representation of the extent of evil in people like this. She was seethingly angry that her secretary took back the very idea that she stole from her in the first place. After this, the story took some believable twists and turns and eventually lead to an extremely satisfying conclusion that we all wish we could either live through ourselves or witness first hand.
If you have never seen Working Girl, you owe it to yourself to see one of the best movies ever made about the realities of life and having a job.