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Friday Film Fest: Dolly Parton

Doralee (Dolly Parton) Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Judy (Jane Fonda) do some day drinking after a rough morning

Doralee (Dolly Parton) Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Judy (Jane Fonda) do some day drinking after a rough morning

If memory serves me right, the first time I saw 9 to 5 was on March 13, 1981 and I wasn't impressed with it. Probably because I wasn't working in an office and I couldn't relate to the story (I mean I was still in high school) but a few years later, I'd end up watching the movie every single day after I had gotten home from work.

New employee Judy Bernley (Jane Fonda) is welcomed into the company by her supervisor Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) and the two strike up a work friendship. Violet shows her the ropes and she falls in line with the company gossip on Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton) since everyone thinks that she's sleeping with their boss, Mr. Hart (Dabney Coleman).

On the day that Violet learns she didn't get a much deserved promotion, she leaves work early to get drunk, followed by Judy and then Doralee finds out about the things that Hart has ben lying about. After blowing up at him, she joins the girls at the bar for some much needed day drinking.

While they commiserate over their drinks, Violet discovers that she has a joint on her and the trio go back to Doralee's house and spark up the doobie, where they have fantasies of how they would off Hart.

The next day, Violet makes him a cup of coffee and due to a loose chair, he falls out of it and is rushed to the hospital. Violet thinks that she's poisoned him and she and Judy rush to the hospital to be with Doralee.

After thinking that he's dead, the three are overheard in the ladies room the next day by Roz Keith (Elizabeth Wilson) and she reports back to him, even though her "notes were a little fuzzy."

He thinks that he can hold this over Doralee's head and get her into bed with him, but soon the death fantasies come to life and they kidnap him back to his house, while his wife, Missy (Marion Mercer) is on a month long cruise.

During the time of his "captivity" the girls realize just how unpopular he is and they go about changing the working conditions around the office and with great results, that is until Missy comes home and releases him from his shackles.

Just as he's about to play his last card, he's promoted to another position and is never heard from again.

So when the summer of 1985 rolled around and I was in my first office job, I started to appreciate this movie since I was able to identify with all of the characters and at the time, I had a boss who did make my miserable.

Everyday, I would go home (with a bottle of wine) and in my fantasy, it wasn't Mr. Hart that was kidnapped and I would look for clues on how to get away with something. Thankfully, I did have co-workers who saw what my supervisor was doing and a few months later, the department dynamic was changed and I had gotten a new supervisor, who was like a ray of sunshine and our shackles were removed, just like in the movie!

Oh, yeah, and one of my friends and I used to send each other interoffice memos to one another with quotes from the movie, or we would send them as characters to one another. Those were good times.

Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (Burt Reynolds) and Miss Mona share a tender moment

Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (Burt Reynolds) and Miss Mona share a tender moment

While we all love Dolly, but can we get behind her for this based on a true story Broadway adaptation? It’s hard to say.

Deputy Fred (Jim Nabors) narrates the events of what happened to the Chicken Ranch during Thanksgiving week and the eventual shutdown of the notorious pleasure palace.

After the death of Wulla Jean (Paula Shaw) her favorite girl Mona inherits the house and continues the legacy by keeping a low profile in the town of Gilbert as the residents maintain a blind eye to the activities.

Houston consumer reporter Melvin P. Thorpe (Dom DeLuise) begins his crusade to put Mona and her girls out of business even though Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (Burt Reynolds) has pleaded with him. Thorpe doesn’t care and puts the town in the spotlight.

Ed Earl begs Mona to close for two months and while she agree, she plans to keep the celebration following the Texas A&M Aggie’s win on Thanksgiving.

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Once the lights go out, Melvin and his crew break into the house and cause chaos which causes the governor (Charles Durning) to officially close the doors.

This is the second movie in which Parton sings “I Will Always Love You.”

For the most part, this is an okay musical, but it’s hard to really get into. I don’t think that I’ve never not been distracted while watching this since I begin to lose interest after a few minutes.

Whenever I do watch this (which is rare) I often find myself doing other things, but maybe watching paint dry would be more exciting.


Shirlee Kenyon is mistaken for Dr. Shirley Kendall and steps into the radio host's first broadcast

Shirlee Kenyon is mistaken for Dr. Shirley Kendall and steps into the radio host's first broadcast

Let me give it to you straight.

This movie had a lot of potential as a romantic comedy, but, I honestly don't know what happened.

Shirlee Kenyon is unhappy as a dance instructor and when she's let go for being too chatty on the dance floor, she suggests to her boyfriend Steve (Michael Madsen) that they should just pack everything up and move to Chicago.

He doesn't want to leave, even though he's been unemployed for close to a year, so after Shirlee suggests moving, he decides to go out drinking and she tells him that she won't be there when he gets home. After tossing and turning, she packs up her things (and his bowling bag) and heads north to Chicago.

With no job and money running low, she finds herself on the North Wabash Avenue Bridge and looks out at the river. A twenty dollar bill escapes her and she climbs over to retrieve it, but up in his office, reporter Jack (James Woods) sees her on the opposite side of the bridge and he thinks that she's going to jump.

He races down to "rescue" her and she asks if he's out of his mind.

As she's searching for a job, she responds to an ad for a receptionist position at a talk radio station and after being trained on the switchboard during the morning, she goes to the conference room to get some coffee, but engineers Tony (Charles Fleischer) and Gordon (Keith MacKechnie) think she's the new talk psychologist and they quickly slap headphones on her. It's easy to see how they were confused since the no show doctor's name is Shirley Kendall.

Following her first show, producer Alan (Griffin Dunne) races into the studio and tells the engineers that they had the wrong person, but since Dr. Kendall didn't show up, they tell him that they thought she was the doctor. Alan lets Shirlee go, but the next day he tracks her down and rehires her due to the number of telegrams of praise that came into the station. I didn't think telegrams were a thing back in 1992, but I guess they were still around.

Anyway, Shirlee becomes the talk of Chicago as she helps callers on a daily basis and Alan's behind her all the way.

Due to her popularity, Jack sets out to expose her and when he uncovers that she's not an actual psychologist, he has to decide whether or not if he wants to run the story, just as Shirlee's show is about to go national.

I thought the big problem here was that the only plot to the movie was showcasing Shirlee's new found career and how her past was being kept a secret, but at really no time does a romantic relationship develop between her and Jack. They go out to dinner and then go back to her place, but are interrupted when Steve comes to town.

True, they have a one night stand, but when Shirlee finds out everything about Jack and his expose' she decides to come clean and of course the citizens of Chicago don't want her to leave.

It really was a waste of time, but had it been handled a little bit better, I think this could have been a cute little movie.

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