September 6, 2014

There is nothing better than a payback and these 5 movies are here to prove it. Well, they might not be the best, but I saw most of them while I was growing up. They certainly made me think I would become a vengeful woman inside a poofy polyester dress.

1. 'Hello Again' (1987)

Bored housewife Lucy Chadman (Shelley Long) chokes to death, but is brought back to life by her crazy hippie sister. She reappears to find out that her shallow husband is now married to her best friend and doing all the things he never really did with her when she was alive. Lucy decides to take control of her life and, yes, she eventually has the last laugh.

The movie plot is rather idiotic and Shelley Long actually did repeated this role of an underappreciated woman who bounces back in other equally stupid movies. Its our dear Shelley Long and if someone should get revenge for being unfairly typecast, it's her.

2. 'Nine to Five' (1980)

Three female employees of a sexist and deceitful boss find a way to get even. They trap him in his own house and take charge of his office at the company where they all work.

During a time that women were beginning to pick up the pace in the laboring world, the movie depicts 3 stereotypes of working females in need of a good revenge: Violet (Lily Tomlin), the competent and fierce woman that becomes a menace to control, Doralee (Dolly Parton), the sexy assistant that is used as a trophy for male gossip and Judy (Jane Fonda) the nice, low key girl that is constantly exploited and abused by others.

Because I was so little when I saw this movie, I was really more captivated by the animated Disney inspired fantasy of Violet (Lily Tomlin) where she takes the role of a sweet Snow White and delivers a poisoned coffee cup to her boss. Now that I left Snow White behind me, this crazy trio does speak to me.

3. 'The First Wives Club' (1996)

Reunited after the suicide of a college friend, three divorced women played by Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton realize how their ex-husbands have ruined their lives and seek their well deserved revenge. The plot seems inspired by the power trio of 'Nine to Five', but these are not really working girls. They are rich New Yorkers with money to spend and conspire.

The movie owes something to Gunilla Garson Goldberg, played by Maggie Smith. The auction scene where she and fake decorator Duarte Feliz (Bronson Pinchot) force Shelly (Sarah Jessica Parker), the young lover of one of the ex-husbands to buy every single crap is priceless.

4. 'The Associate' (1996)

When Laurel Ayres (Whoopi Goldberg), a struggling financial lawyer, finds out only white males prevail on Wall Street, she inadvertently creates Robert Cutty, a fictitious character that will help her succeed in a man's world. Along with Sally (Dianne Wiest) she becomes part of the most coveted financial firm in New York, run by Cutty, the genius "silent partner".

The film received rather unfair negative reviews and actually fell into obscurity over the years. But the movie has its merit. I love how it goes against the male domination in the business world, while getting some real good comedic moments with contrasting duo Goldberg/Wiest. Apart from the delightful revenge, the movie sheds light on how dangerous is speculation and inside trading on Wall Street.

5. 'She-Devil' (1989)

After being left by her unfaithful and selfish husband Bob (Ed Begley, Jr.), Ruth Patchett (Roseanne Barr) decides to get revenge from all the abuse and writes down a list with all her ex-husband's assets that she is willing to destroy. Along the movie, we go through this list with Ruth, while witnessing her husband's downfall in some hilarious moments. Meryl Streep actually delivers the best comedy scenes as Bob's lover, pink romance novelist Mary Fisher.

The movie celebrated Roseanne Barr on the big screen, shortly after the success of her TV sitcom 'Roseanne'. Because in the late 80s, leading female roles were usually for elegant and young women, Roseanne really pushed the boundaries by breaking that rule. Now that's real "girl power".

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