Three office workers (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton) take down their sexist boss (Dabney Coleman) in this old-school comedy, ie. one with a plot.
This feminist farce has a stellar cast, strong female characters and of course a great theme song by Parton, who’s in her element as the secretary more capable than anyone gives her credit for based on her appearance; a role Marilyn Monroe could have played 20 years earlier.
Made in 1980, the film has more compassion than last year’s Hustlers whose politics were muddied by real crimes. Here the screwball tone and germane comedy keep the movie unambiguously uplifting and cathartic, both for women and anyone else who’s ever fantasised about getting revenge on their boss; a satisfying tonic to the chauvinist celebrations of unscrupulous authority that have come to breed British peers and American presidents.
Harold and Maude writer Colin Higgins makes the film as preposterous as it is progressive, full of wacky plot turns and stoned fantasy sequences including a Snow White homage complete with cartoon animals. But the broad comedy (in every sense) is also high heel-sharp, puncturing the permeating workplace sexism that’s extant even now the perms are extinct.