Labor Day Lovin’: Six Films That Will Make You Appreciate Your Job

Cap the Hawaiian Tropic, winterize the seersucker and hang up the Havaianas: The end of summer is upon us like a flannel sheet. But Labor Day is more than just back-to-school sales and the season’s last big cookout—it’s about workers. So take a moment to reflect on the social and economic contributions of the working class with some of the films that have given new meaning to the phrase "tough day at the office."

9 to 5 (1980)

The setup: Three office workers (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton) seeks to get even with their sexist sleazeball boss (Dabney Coleman).

Line please: Dolly: If you ever say another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I’m gonna get that gun of mine, and I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!

Critical commentary: Roger Ebert wrote that Dolly Parton "is, on the basis of this one film, a natural-born movie star, a performer who holds our attention so easily that it’s hard to believe it’s her first film."

Did you know? With box office sales exceeding $100 million, 9 to 5 is the 20th highest-grossing comedy film.

Training Day (2001)

The setup: Highly decorated yet brutal and corrupt L.A. narcotics detective (Denzel Washington) takes rookie (Ethan Hawke) on his first day of training, which involves murder, mayhem and PCP-laden marijuana.

Line please: Denzel: You disloyal, fool-ass, bitch-made punk.

Critical commentary: Roger Ebert described Denzel’s character as "the meanest, baddest narcotics cop in the city—a dude who cruises the mean streets in his confiscated customized Caddy, extracting tribute and accumulating graft like a medieval warlord shaking down his serfs."

Did you know? Bruce Willis, Tom Sizemore and Gary Sinise were offered the role that Denzel Washington eventually took on.

Clerks (1994)

The setup: A New Jersey convenience store retail clerk (Brian O’Halloran) slacks off on the job while the boss is on vacation.

Line please: Brian O’Halloran: I love your sexy talk. It’s so kindergarten. "Poo poo." "Wee wee."

Critical commentary: "The movie has the attitude of a gas station attendant who tells you to check your own oil." — Roger Ebert

Did you know? Shot for $27,575 in the convenience and video stores where director Kevin Smith worked in real life, the flm grossed over $3 million at the box office.

Brazil (1985)

The setup: A low-level government employee (Jonathan Pryce) daydreams about saving a damsel in distress while trying to function in Terry Gilliam’s retro-futuristic, hyper-consumerist dystopia.

Line please: Jonathan Pryce: Sorry, I’m a bit of a stickler for paperwork. Where would we be if we didn’t follow the correct procedures?

Critical commentary: "The most potent piece of satiric political cinema since Dr. Strangelove." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Did you know? Brazil was River Phoenix’s favorite film.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

The setup: A frumpy college grad (Anne Hathaway) gets a job working for an imperious fashion magazine editor (Meryl Streep) purportedly inspired by real-life U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Line please: Meryl Streep: Details of your incompetence do not interest me.

Critical commentary: Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers called Streep’s performance "a comic and dramatic tour de force."

Did you know? Though Anna Wintour wasn’t invited to the film’s premiere, she attended an advance press screening, dressed in (what else?) Prada.

Office Space (1999)

The setup: A worker (Ron Livingston) stuck in a mind-numbing cubicle job seeks way to escape his situation and get revenge on his boss (Gary Cole).

Line please: Ron Livingston: The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.

Critical commentary: "If you’ve ever had a job, you’ll be amused by this paean to peons."  —  Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today

Did you know? Entertainment Weekly ranked this cult classic fifth on its list of "25 Great Comedies From the Past 25 Years."

Dolly Parton Has an Official Tumblr Now, If You’re Into That

Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? She is a national treasure, like the Great Smoky Mountains or Kansas City BBQ; she’s the toast of Branson. She is responsible for the anthem you hear in your head every Monday on your commute to work, that is, if you work 9 to 5. You’ve probably sang “Islands in the Stream” with your inebriated friends at karaoke more times than you’d like to acknowledge. You’ve seen her show in Branson. What more could Dolly Parton possibly give you? More Internet presence!

Over the weekend, we were alerted to the glorious news that Dolly Parton now has an official Tumblr. Sadly, she was unable to acquire “Fuck Yeah Dolly Parton,” which probably is a thing that exists, but this one is legit, according to her official social media people. Even though it’s probably some interns or publicists doing all the work, we’d like to think it’s Dolly herself tracking the tag, reblogging pictures of herself on TV or Instagrammed/ornately hand-drawn reiterations of her lyrics from blogs with names like “truckyeahcountrystars” and “lorettalove.” And who knows? If you’re a rabid enough fan of hers on the Tumblrs, maybe Dolly will follow you if you ask nicely enough. We wish you well in your quest. 

Celebrate Boss’s Day Like a Boss With These Cinematic Honchos

It’s that time of year again: Boss’s Day. (What’s that, you ask? When is Employee’s Day? Everyday is Employee’s Day! Now shut up and get back to work, you peons!) (Yes, one could say I am blogging like a boss today.) To celebrate, here’s a list of the best bosses in movie history. "Best," of course, is a relative term, but hey, this is the internet and all I know is that I’m the boss of listicles today, so deal with it or you’re fired. 

1. Sigourney Weaver as Katharine Parker in Working Girl

2. Dabney Coleman as Franklin M. Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5

3. Diana Rigg as Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper
diana rigg

4. Christopher Walken as Max Shreck in Batman Returns

5. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

6. Bette Midler as Sadie Shelton in Big Business

7. Michael Keaton as Captain Gene Mauch in The Other Guys

8. Garry Marshall as Walter Harvey in A League of Their Own

9. Dan Hedaya as Richard Nixon in Dick

10. Harvey Keitel as Matthew "Sport" Higgins in Taxi Driver

11. Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in In the Loop

12. Anthony LaPaglia as Joe Reaves in Empire Records

13. Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail

14. Maggie Smith as Mother Superior in Sister Act

15. John Cusack as Rob Gordon in High Fidelity

16. Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest

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