In Praise of (Movies About) Working Women

Celebrating the Female Empowerment Workplace Dramedy, or -- in a neologism I'll be credited as coining by Wikipedia -- "Shoulderpad Swashbuckle."

I have a fantasy involving a "Siskel and Ebert"-style show for women, starring me and a New York cabbie from the 1980s. But we only review films that we emphatically want people to see, and instead of giving things "thumbs up" or "down," we shout, "AYYYYYYYY! Watch it, lady!" Which is, incidentally, the title of the show.The episodes would be themed, ranging broadly from "Italian Films Where People Bike Sensuously" to "Different Movies Where Kevin James Has a Funny Job."One episode would celebrate the "Female Empowerment Workplace Dramedy," because, as a subsubgenre, it's one of my very favorites.If you will, please allow me to use this web site as a forum in which Vic (his name is Vic, because it's my fantasy) and I enjoy a hypothetical episode in order to indulge me/pitch it to the networks. PBS, you know where to reach me."Ayyyyyy! Watch It Lady," Episode 6, Season 39.JULIEANNE: Welcome to a very special episode of "Ayyyyyy! Watch It Lady!" or "A!WIL!," as its known to professional recappers and multiple fan fiction forums. Today, we're celebrating the Female Empowerment Workplace Dramedy, or -- in a neologism that I've been credited as coining by Wikipedia -- "Shoulderpad Swashbuckle."VIC: Get outta the bus lane! JULIEANNE: Our first film is the seminal working woman comedy, "His Girl Friday," a (sort of) adaptation of "The Front Page." It's a screwball comedy that stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel as Hildy Johnson, ace female reporters. If you like Aaron Sorkin, journalism, and movies where a strong leading lady still gets to decide whether to stay with the stable boring dude or the much-hotter, kind-of-a-dick ex, this is the working girl workplace comedy for you.BOTH: Ayyyyyy! Watch It Lady!JULIEANNE: I was well into my twenties when I realized that the title of "Working Girl" was a play on a term for hooker. HA! This is also the movie where I learned that mixing valium and tequila is not a super great idea! Joan Cusack is amazing in this, and it's a nice reminder of how great an actress Melanie Griffith can be when she's on, and how absolutely unbelievably hot Harrison Ford is/was/will be for some of us forever. Co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Alec Baldwin, with weird cameos by Kevin Spacey, giant hair, and cocaine. THE EIGHTIES, EVERY ONE! I will watch this movie absolutely ANY TIME. What do you say, Vic?VIC: Credit cards??? What do I look like, Sears and Roebuck? Cash only!BOTH: Ayyyyyy! Watch It Lady!JULIEANNE: I've talked about how much I love "Broadcast News" before, as a comedy about female overachievers and unrequited love. This is some of the best, sharpest dialogue ever written by my idol, James L. Brooks. I like when Holly Hunter's boss says, "It must be nice, always knowing that you're smarter and know better than everybody else," and she says, "No, it's terrible." She's us! Or me, at least. The smartest one in the room, always! right Vic?VIC: [Something disparaging about immigration, probably.]BOTH: Ayyyyyyyy! Watch it lady.JULIEANNE: I'll wrap up with possibly the most empowering of all Shoulderpad Swashbucklers, which happens to star the holy trinity of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and site spirit animal, Dolly Parton. This was a movie about fighting sexual harassment when people still thought sexual harass-ing women was cool and hip. It's cool that the supreme court made it illegal or otherwise I'd never get any work done without some Dabney Coleman boss type chasing me around a desk. Dabney Coleman! What a mustache on that guy, right, Vic?VIC: Hey, Honda! Get outta the fuckin' way!JULIEANNE: Isn't it cool that you can say fuck on the Lifetime Channel* now? I think it's fucking great! What do you think, Vic?VIC: Jewish people!BOTH: Ayyyyyyyy! Watch it lady.See you next week, in the balcony!*or, your network here, Development Excutives!