DAILIES: 9 to 5 (#93 of 2013)

on April 17 | in Film, Frontpage | by | with 1 Comment

Not all “classics” are world-view changing works of high-art. Sometimes, the media we as a people consider classically defining just needs to be a well-crafted piece of entertainment that for at least some will create fond memories of the experience – and maybe we’ll see why others consider it classic.

That’s the case in today’s Dailies, where Jason watches and reviews the much-loved 1980 comedy 9 TO 5.

- Editorial

Here’s something any regular readers of this column are going to learn very quickly: There are a plethora of movies I have never seen. For whatever reason, I had what could only generously be described as a passing interest in film growing up. In the past few years, I have developed a voracious appetite for it, and have begun working my way back through all the classics and the “classics” that I’ve heard of but never seen. Movies like Jaws, Casablanca and Chinatown, but also movies like Beverly Hills Cop.

So when Lily Tomlin was on the Nerdist podcast recently and 9 to 5 was mentioned, I made a mental note to check it out. I had always wanted to see it anyway, but when Hardwick claimed to have seen it over 200 hundred times, my interest was piqued.

9 to 5 is a movie clearly of its time, aesthetically, but the message is a strong one.

For those as oblivious as I was, 9 to 5 is the story of Violet (Tomlin), Judy (Jane Fonda) and Doralee (Dolly Parton) and their misogynist prick of a boss (Dabney Coleman). They each fantasize about killing him, but when he ends up accidentally poisoned, it starts a comedy of errors well worth the viewing.

9 to 5 is a movie clearly of its time, aesthetically, but the message is a strong one. It is astounding to me to see what once passed for acceptable treatment of women in the workplace in 1980, but I guess it’s sadly still not surprising that any attempt to rectify it is dismissed as “that women’s lib crap.” From listening to Tomlin speak, it is clear that this kind of sexism was far more vocal in the past. Yet, though it is far more subtle now, it is equally as sinister. The high point of the movie comes from the fact that, while the heroines indulge in violent fantasies of retribution in the beginning, they win in the end due to their cunning and determination.

It is rare to see a comedy that is both political and funny while diminishing neither aspect.

It is rare to see a comedy that is both political and funny while diminishing neither aspect. Sometimes, the politics of a film are used as a weapon to assault the viewer, but they are often more effective when they are slipped secretly in between the trappings of another genre, much like the poison into a bigoted boss’s coffee.


3.5 / 5

9 TO 5 (1980): DIRECTOR: Colin Higgins // PRODUCERS: Bruce Gilbert // SCREENPLAYPatricia Resnick; Colin Higgins // STARRING: Jane Fonda; Lily Tomlin; Dolly Parton; Dabney Coleman; Marian Mercer; Colin Higgins; Peggy Pope; Elizabeth Wilson // MUSIC: Charles Fox // CINEMATOGRAPHER: Reynaldo Villalobos // EDITOR: Pembroke J. Herring // DISTRIBUTION: 20th Century Fox // RELEASE DATE: 12.19.1980 // RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

Jason Swearingen has a lot of opinions. Like, tons of ‘em. And he loves telling people them! He’s also amassed quite a number of movies on his “to-watch” queue, lately. So in an effort to help himself dwindle this ever-mounting list, and as a means for him to express his many, many thoughts on junk and stuff in an entertaining and cathartic manner, he’s resolved to watch at least 1 film every day for the rest of 2013, and write down his reaction (however long or short it may be) in the form of our daily film series: DAILIES!

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