who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? March 5, 2007Posted by Wasik in 9 to 5, bodies, Uncategorized.
There were two things that struck me about Nine to Five. First, many elements that the film uses for comedic value are actually a bit problematic. One of the main characters fantasizes about dressing like a cowgirl and shooting her boss. The image of her wielding a gun and shooting her boss while he is curled up (in a very feminine way) on the toilet seat is supposed to be funny—there isn’t any real power in the image. The way that Dolly Parton imagines she will deal with her boss is even more ridiculous to the viewer—switching roles with him, she sexually harasses him by asking him to wear tighter pants to emphasize his package and calls him “hot stuff”. However, again, her words cannot be taken seriously. The idea of Dolly Parton forcing herself upon her male secretary, or even using terms that objectify him, is hilarious but not dangerous. Later, the fantasies of the three women accidentally become reality; once enacted, their ideas are carried through in an intelligent way, but the fact that the women’s power over their boss is the main comedic basis for the movie is still a bit questionable.
On a second, and completely unrelated, note, the clothing of the women in the film (and their general physical appearance) seems to directly determine how they are treated by others. What I found especially striking was the contrast between Dolly Parton’s and the new girl’s necklines. While Dolly Parton wears low-cut shirts that provoke unwanted attention from her boss (and make the other women in the office resent her), the new girl consistently wears shirts with extremely high necklines. Most of the time she emphasizes her ‘good girl’ persona even further with large bows or standoffish frills covering her neck as well as chest. Since most of the other women in the office fall somewhere in the middle of the Dolly-new girl neckline spectrum, I think that the necklines of those two women are intentionally meant to be revealing of their personalities—again, I find this a bit questionable.