The 80 s movie celebrated females striving to get ahead. Now 30 years on, Hollywood seems to want to placed women in their place
The women in Working Girl gazed astonishing in their superpower dress. How do professional female characters dress now? Cyrus, by email
I like the slouse of your jib, Cyrus! Any man who expends his evenings not just watching but RE-watching Working Girl is welcome to sit by me. And you are right, ladies don’t wear power dress in movies any more, but that is because women in real life don’t wear capability dress these days. In detail, one of the most interesting pattern fibs told in Working girl, aside from that it really is possible to pay $6,000 for an item of clothing and” it’s not even leather“, is that you can see the capability dres changing figure in this late-8 0s movie, changing to something emphatically more 90 s. Whereas Tess( Melanie Griffith) and Cynthia( Joan Cusack) wear large-hearted shoulders and heavy jackets, Katherine( Sigourney Weaver ), the woman with the real superpower, wears far more minimalist, slimmed-down dress. As Tess incomes superpower, she does, very. In the last scene, Tess turns up to her new position, which she thinks is a secretarial slot, in a heavily shoulder-padded case. But when she realises she is actually the boss, the jacket are beginning to slip off her shoulders. It’s 1988, baby, and a brand-new epoch is beginning: no longer do big shoulders symbolise female power.
( Whether then having Harrison Ford then jam-pack Griffith’s ickle wickle lunch box for her, as if she were his toddler daughter instead of his extremely impressive girlfriend, symbolises female power is a question we shall have to save for another daylight .)
But your question touches, I speculate, on something that are beyond suits, Cyrus. The question isn’t what do ambitious girls wear in the movies these days, it’s why aren’t they celebrated in movies the acces they used to be?
Fortunately, a movie comes out tomorrow that exemplifies the phase. Now, you might have thought that if I had written a 2,500 -word article on A Star Is Born last week for this paper I might have got that film out of my arrangement. Well, you, my friend, have underestimated just how much I overthink popular culture. Now who’s looking like the preposterous one?
While the brand-new A Star Is Born protrudes very closely to the 1954 and 1976 versions of this movie, it differs in one enormous and telling behavior: whereas in the earlier movies the female reputation becomes more successful than “the mens” because she is more talented, in the brand-new version it is just because she becomes a creative sell-out. Instead of constituting Ally( Lady Gaga) a better singer-songwriter than Jack( Bradley Cooper ), the movie has her jettison her songwriting skill in order to become a pop hotshot who sings scrap popping songs, dyes her “hairs-breadth” silly colours and applies up with cheesy parties around her. Thus, Jack remains An Artist while Ally is just a plastic product.
It is a mesmerizing twisting, partly because Cooper sent the movie and this is a definite change to the dealership that flatters his character. It is also interesting to do this to the movie now, in an period when female dad aces are such a prevailing coerce: Beyonce, Taylor, Rihanna, Ariana and- oh yeah!- Lady Gaga. The whole situation is like a reassuring tap on the shoulder to all the male artists left in their dust, and it’s very weird to ensure Gaga play a reference who feels too close for comfort. But this also feels like the natural conclusion to the direction Hollywood movies have been to move in for the past few decades. Formerly female desire was normal- sexy, even. Most obviously, in 1940′ s His Girl Friday, Hildy’s( Rosalind Russell) professionalism is what Walter( Cary Grant) desires about her and, even when they marry at the end, it’s obvious they are going to work on their honeymoon, and he is delighted by it. In Fancy woman, female ambition is sex, in accordance with the arrangements of Griffith- as long as she doesn’t become more successful than “the mens”, a problem incarnated by Weaver.
Which fetches us to the 21 st century and all you need to do to see how bad things have got is to comparison Kay Thompson’s character in 1957′ s Funny Face with Meryl Streep’s in 2006′ s The Devil Wears Prada: they are both manner magazine writers, but Streep’s professionalism is teased whereas Thompson’s is admired.( And, of course, in true-life 21 st-century romcom form, the conclusion of the latter movie is that the young female persona should give up her excellent job and to continue efforts to get her lover back. Yay dames !)
The question isn’t what ambitious women should wear in movies but when will ambitious ladies learn their assignment and dispense with their jobs for their soldiers? Ally doesn’t in the latest A Star Is Born and, well, we all know how that turns out. A salutary narration learn lessons from, ladies.