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Movie Throwback: Working Girls

Working Girl tells the story of Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), a secretary from Staten Island who at the age of 30 and with a college degree earned from night school, is determined to move into an executive position at her work, Petty Marsh, an investment bank. Shortly into the movie, her boss tricks her into thinking that she will be promoted, to which she publicly announces that he is a “sleazoid pimp with a tiny little dick.” She is reassigned to another department in the company, a financial division, where she will be working under Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) as a secretary. Parker breaks her leg during a skiing trip not long after Tess starts and while she is recovering, she asks Tess to step in her place. In Parker’s shoes, Tess discovers that Katherine is going to pitch her big idea, in the guise that it is her own, that would save a large company from a foreign takeover. Also at this time, Tess finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her. Enraged, Tess teams up with Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford) to close the deal before Katherine’s return. Parker almost gets her way until the very end of the movie, when Tess challenges her in front of the executives of the foreign company. The film ends happily ever after – Tess is in an executive role and has a new man – Parker’s old man (Ford).

I joke about my ulterior motives for buying not one but two wedding dresses. You probably think that I’m dying for mister right to get down on one knee and propose. But that’s not the case and that’s not my fairy tale ending. A lot of my friends are getting married and as I attend their weddings (in my me-made dresses), I think, “Holy hell, I couldn’t imagine being in that position.” Cinderella once was a delectable story of the ultimate girl’s myth – Prince Charming sweeping his tulle-laden lady off her feet and riding into the future with not a worry to woe about. But oh me, oh my, slap me silly, the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming does not mean the same thing as it once did. Could I still be a princess if I set my eye on a career and not a husband first? What if I don’t wear glass slippers but instead Kate Spade heels and clutches that were paid for with a self-made bank account? Could this be considered another type of fairy tale ending (I don’t want it to seem like getting married is bad)? Tess, or Melanie Griffith, shows that it is.




  1. Reply


    I love that movie.

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    love it!!! and loving the 80’s looks 🙂

  3. Reply

    Marisa Noelle

    How is it I’ve never seen this movie?! I love old 80s flicks – especially comedies and romantic comedies. Hmm, looks like I’m going to have to go searching Netflix or the Blockbuster kiosk for this one – one of these weekends to come 🙂 I’m kind of a sucker for big 80s hair!

    And I agree (though I did get married pretty early in life) – a cinderella fairytale does not have to include Prince Charming. Many of my friends are living out there career dreams and are just as happy.

  4. Reply


    This sounds like my kind of 80’s flick, I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet. That is some major poofy hair situation going on!
    Puh-lease, we are fabulous princesses already and in no rush for no prince to come along.

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    Your dreamy job and amazing blog is truly a self made fairy tale! I will have to see this flick!

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    Oh, I love that movie, must have watched it at least 10 times already… Definitely an alternative fairy tale ending!

  7. Reply

    Carrie Elias

    Love this movie!

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    Maycie After Five

    “Six thousand dollars?! It’s not even leather!” Best movie ever…

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      “Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Never will.” Classic!

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