The Horror Honeys: Getting Even is a Full-Time Job!

Getting Even is a Full-Time Job!

A Revenge Honey "I Need a Break" Review by Linnie

9 to 5 (1980)

Sometimes... your Revenge Honey just wears the fuck out. One can only watch so many terrible movies before they just need a melon-farming break. When that happens, and it happens fairly often lately, I turn to one of my favorite revenge films of all time. And it's not a movie featuring copious amounts of gore or excessive amounts of stabbing, but what it does feature are three of the most badass women in cinema's history. That movie is Colin Higgins' 9 to 5, and when everything else in the world is awful, this is the film that makes it better.

The Story: Violet (Lily Tomlin), Judy (Jane Fonda), and Doralee (Dolly Parton) all work for spoiled middle-manager type, Franklin M. Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman). Hart does absolutely none of the work and takes all of the credit, while Judy and Violet work their asses off and Doralee is subjected to Hart's incessant sexual harassment. Violet in particular is overlooked by Hart for a promotion simply because of her gender, all while Hart spreads rumors that he's having an affair with Doralee. Basically, Hart is a douchebag before the term was used liberally. But when the trio accidentally take Hart hostage and then, take control of their department, how long will they be able to hide what they've done?

9 to 5 is one of those movies that I started watching when I was extremely young, mostly due to a intense love of both Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. But as I grew older, it became clear that the film was the jumping-off point for my lifetime of a zero tolerance policy with the patriarchy.


In 1980, women were finally making real strides in the workplace, but they were still pushing back against inherent chauvinism in male-dominated industries. Violet, Judy, and Doralee all work in a company where the women do the vast majority of the work, but male managers still run the show and take credit for all of their good ideas. Franklin Hart is even worse, because he is a, "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot," and makes the lives of every woman working for him absolutely miserable. So where does the revenge portion of the plot come in, you may ask?

I wish.
After mistakenly believing that Violet has killed Hart by putting rat poison in his coffee (who hasn't been THERE before?), the three women take Hart hostage in his home and leave him tied up in his bedroom while they decide to what to do with him. In the meantime, Violet takes over Hart's department and productivity/employee satisfaction skyrockets, drawing the attention of the company's superiors. While the powers-that-be believe Hart is behind the changes, Violet, Judy, and Doralee are slowly showing that putting women in charge is a smart move.

In the end, 9 to 5 is my absolute favorite kind of comedy: it's smart, subversive, dark, and it actually has something meaningful to say. But best of all, it stars three kickass women who each brought something entirely different (and sorely needed) to the world of cinema. Lily Tomlin especially used 9 to 5 to showcase both her dramatic and comedy skills, and as a result has long been one of my true idols.

So basically, come to 9 to 5 for the hilarious women, stay for the meaningful commentary on gender and workplace politics.


Revenge Honey Rating: 4 1/2 boxes of rat poison out of 5

9 to 5 is available on Netflix Streaming, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Google Play, & DVD

What is YOUR "I need a break" movie?
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