My Cultural Diet

334 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info here). Ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links.

9 to 5
4 out of 5 stars

9 to 5

My wife recently listened to a podcast episode of Dolly Parton talking about 9 to 5 and its memorable theme song — you’re probably singing the chorus to yourself right now, aren’t you? — and so we decided to give this 1980 screwball comedy a chance. Starring Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin as a trio of women who’ve finally had enough of their sexist boss (Dabney Coleman, who you love to hate in this movie) and decide to put him in his place, 9 to 5 may be dated in a few places. (It is over 40 years old, after all.) But it also feels surprisingly current and relevant in this, the Year of our Lord 2023 — which is kind of sad when you think about it. Of course, being a comedy that gets a bit absurd at times, 9 to 5 doesn’t delve too deeply into matters of sexism, feminism, workers’ rights, capitalism, etc. But the issues that it raises still face us today, and some of the changes the women make to their office while their boss is indisposed (e.g., equal pay, flexible hours, childcare) still feel revolutionary and progressive today — which is also kind of sad when you think about it. Also, I can’t help wondering what a modern version of 9 to 5 would look like, were it made now in a post-COVID, post-MeToo world. Chances are, it wouldn’t be nearly as charming, not without Parton’s whimsy, Fonda’s demureness (her line about M&M’s is comedy gold), and Tomlin’s snark.

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