1273. Nine To Five (1980)

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8.4 Clever and hilarious
  • Acting 8.5
  • Directing 8.3
  • Story 8.5
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 6.3

Starring: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton

Director: Colin Higgins

Running Time: 110 mins


Nine To Five is an American film about three female workers of an egotistical boss who dream of a way to get their own back on him.

This is such a brilliant comedy. It may look as dated as 80s movies get, but the hilarious humour and ingenious dialogue come together to make a thoroughly enjoyable watch, with big laughs from start to finish woven into an unpredictable and exciting crime story.

First, however, I want to start with the performances. The three lead actresses, Fonda, Tomlin and Parton, are all excellent. Although Dolly Parton initially seems like she’s just playing herself, she grows significantly as the film develops, and ends up as funny and energetic as her two co-stars.

Jane Fonda’s performance is slightly similar, although a little more deliberate. Her character starts off as the nervous newbie in the company, and so it feels a little wooden, but as we see her develop throughout the film into a more assured and unpredictable person, Fonda brilliantly puts that across in her performance, also becoming even funnier to watch as the film goes on.

However, the best performance of all is Lily Tomlin. She’s pretty much perfect right from the get-go. Already a hot-headed and frustrated worker under her sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss, Tomlin is so funny as soon as the film sets into action, and as we see her character almost take the opposite route in terms of development in comparison to her co-stars, she consistently finds ways to surprise by giving a hugely energetic and unpredictable performance.

Now, moving onto the screenplay, which was absolutely stunning, and has to go down as one of the best-written comedies of the last few decades. The humour is brilliant, mixing hilarious slapstick with clever and dark satire about inequality and feminism, and it makes for a film that refuses to let up when it comes to ingenious new jokes, giving you a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying watch.

That’s what I really like a lot about Nine To Five. Whilst the 21st Century remake, Horrible Bosses, is more fun in my opinion, this is a properly clever crime-comedy. The women’s fantasies about kidnapping and tormenting their boss aren’t just silly and fun, but they work really well when it comes to thinking about the feminist side to the film.

It’s not in any way preachy of feminism, and even manages to make fun of itself from time to time, so in the end you get a brilliantly funny film, with an unpredictable and exciting plot and three brilliant central performances, so that’s why I’ll give Nine To Five an 8.4.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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