The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: Working Girl
A head for business and a nom for sin.
Today's nomination comes from Stephanie, who's got a '90s-poppies classic for us to consider: Working Girl. Take it away, Stephanie!
- lengthy? 113 minutes, so a comfy 2.5 hours on TV.
- familiar/frequent? It's always on cable.
- classic/award-winner? Nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards but not a "classic" by most people's standards. ["Carly Simon won an Oscar AND a Grammy for 'Let The River Run,' which was ubiquitous on the radio at that time." — SDB]
- "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? This is where Working Girl really shines. The last 15 minutes of the movie is all about the payoff. Tess beats Katharine at her own game, wins back Jack Trainer, and gets the job she's been chasing the whole movie. And then when she calls Cyn from her office and Joan Cusack does that big yell, and "Let The River Run" kicks in? Gets me every time.
- "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk; anything with dads opens the ducts for this guy)? Not a tear-jerker.
- quote-fest? This is all Cyn but a few other characters do get a few choice quotes in there too. "It's not even leather!" "I have a head for business and a bod for sin." "Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna." "Bony ass." "Valium. In the convenient economy size. It just chills you ever so slightly."
- caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? Everything after Tess realizes that Katharine stole her idea is an awesome caper, especially the scene in Katharine's apartment where Tess is hiding from Jack. Plus, the last scene where Tess mistakes Amy Aquino for her secretary, love it.
- "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) Absolutely
And Stephanie added a category, "Special Considerations," noting that "You gotta love a movie with a makeover scene!"
Well argued, Stephanie; thanks for the submish! I have one tiny quibble with Stephanie's case, namely that compared to 10-15 years ago it's really not on cable that much…but if it were, I would probably stop to watch it. This is not even my favorite movie in this "blue-collar/young blonde steps up for, then outdoes bitch boss (who in retrospect is kind of rad)" — that would be Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, coming soon to a PFM nomination stool near you — but it's pretty great, and if I saw it on the guide this morning, I'd put it on while writing up the PTV gift guide.
I have a feeling this one will sail into its own office without much argument, but let's find out. Readers?
[Update 9/23/26: Corner office bay-beeeeeee!]
The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.
Tags: Amy Aquino Carly Simon Harrison Ford Joan Cusack Melanie Griffith movies poppy-fields movies Sigourney Weaver Working Girl