We’re all stuck in the house, right? There’s never been a better time to dig into those retro movies that you’ve always wanted to watch, but never had the time for. Personally, I’m a bit of a retrophile and tend to watch more older flicks than newer ones. On Fangirlish, you can now look forward to a retro review from me each Wednesday in this column. I’ll be highlighting one throwback movie a week, offering a spoiler-free review of the film, any throwback thoughts from my childhood, and where you can watch the movie yourself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy #WayBackWednesday.
With this being Women’s History Month, I would be remiss if I let the month slide by without highlighting one of the women I admire the most–Dolly Parton. I grew up about 45 minutes from Dolly’s stomping grounds and her kindness and charity exemplify the very best of my people. 9 to 5 is one of her funniest films, and before deciding to write on it for #WayBackWednesday, I had only seen it once and I’m not sure I saw it in its entirety. Have you seen this fantastic film? Check out the trailer for 9 to 5 and we’ll get started with #WayBackWednesday.
The trailer for 9 to 5 makes it look like we’re about to watch a murder film, but it’s not quite so sinister as all that. 9 to 5 tells the story of three women, Doralee (Dolly Parton), Violet (Lily Tomlin), and Judy (Jane Fonda) who have quite rightly had enough of their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Dabney Coleman). These ladies, through a series of misadventures and unintentional mistakes, end up kidnapping their boss, impersonating him, and making significant and positive changes to their office environment during his absence. 9 to 5 is written by Patrica Resnick and Colin Higgins and is directed by Higgins as well. The film was popular enough to spawn a TV series and musical of the same name. 9 to 5 is both a revenge fantasy and an empowerment story, with an emphasis on the empowerment side of things. Here are a few of the things I love about 9 to 5.
With three titans of comedy helming 9 to 5, you know you’re in for a good time. The chemistry between Parton, Tomlin, and Fonda really sells the film. Their friendship on and off-screen makes 9 to 5 worth revisiting. Dabney Coleman does a great job playing the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss, though in real life, he’s actually a pretty sweet guy. In fact, according to IMDB, Jane Fonda loved working with Dabney Coleman so much that she recommended him to play the role of her husband in On Golden Pond (1981). If you enjoy watching a cast play off of each other well, definitely check out 9 to 5.
Extremely Relatable Content
I think many of us can relate to the main concept of 9 to 5. While I’ve been fortunate to have only had one boss in my work history that might qualify as a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” (emphasis on the sexist), I’ve definitely had a few work experiences where employees were given unreasonable expectations from the higher-ups at corporate. There was something satisfying in watching Doralee, Violet, and Judy give their boss his just desserts. Obviously, no one here at Fangirlish recommends or condones kidnapping and impersonating your boss in real life, but I would recommend enjoying the catharsis of watching it play out in the comedic setting of 9 to 5.
Give it Up for the Ladies
The thing I enjoy the most about 9 to 5 is that it does a great job of highlighting the ways women have historically and sadly, are still treated unfairly in the workplace. These ladies turn their office upside down, empowering the women in their office with more flexibility, equal pay, better benefits, an in-office daycare, and what do you know, productivity increases! Would that all employers learn that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you! For a 41-year-old film, 9 to 5 is shockingly prescient and still relevant today. Their success feels like my success. If you love to watch movies where women are empowered, I would definitely recommend you give 9 to 5 a try.
Do you need to blow off some steam after work? Need a cup of ambition for the next workday? Check out 9 to 5. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be singing the theme song from nine to five as well.
9 to 5 is streaming now on Hulu.