“Let’s face it — we’re in a pink-collar ghetto!”
Three female co-workers (Jane Fonda, Lili Tomlin, and Dolly Parton) seek revenge on their sexist male boss (Dabney Coleman).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Feminism and Women’s Issues
- Jane Fonda Films
- Sterling Hayden Films
- Workplace Drama
This groundbreaking comedy about sexual discrimination in the workplace has held up surprisingly well, thanks in no small part to the lead performances: Parton (in her acting debut) sparkles, Tomlin has rarely been funnier, and Dabney Coleman’s turn as a sexist pig is priceless. While the script is unnecessarily clumsy (the entire slapstick hospital sequence seems gratuitous, for instance), there are enough genuinely humorous moments to hold interest. Ultimately, while the focus on Nine to Five may be specifically female, the desire to seek revenge against one’s boss remains universal — one can’t help feeling vicarious satisfaction upon seeing Coleman held hostage for weeks on end while the three women turn things around in the office. Who knew that a film about sexual harassment and gender politics could be such a feel-good experience?
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Lili Tomlin as Violet
- Dolly Parton in her film debut as Doralee
- Dabney Coleman as the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot”
- The hilarious revenge fantasy sequences
- A groundbreaking look at sexual harassment in the workplace
- Parton’s infectious title song
Yes. Though uneven, this classic workplace comedy remains must-see viewing. It would make a great double-bill with the modern cult hit Office Space (1999).
- Historically Relevant
- Noteworthy Performance(s)