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October 28, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 28, 1996
Whoopi' s stock crashes in stupid, predictable 'Associate;

By Julia Shih
For the Daily
"The Associate," a movie about a
career woman single-handedly fighting
the sex-biased corporate world, should
have all chauvinistic business execu-
tives shaking in their custom-tailored
Armani suits. Unfortunately, though,
the movie delivers more of a whimper
than a ferocious bite.

The film stars Whoopi Goldberg as
Laurel Ayres, a brilliant and ambitious
financial analyst who seems to have
nowhere to go but up on the corporate
ladder. When her much-anticipated pro-
motion is given to her devious and less-
skilled colleague Frank (Tim Daly), she
understands that she will never be able
to get anywhere in such a sexist world.
Laurel dejectedly quits her job and

starts her own business, but her pro-
posals are brushed off by every firm in
town. Realizing that her work is not
being taken seriously because of her
sex, she devises a plan to create a
white male partner named Robert S.
Cutty in order to keep her business
Under the alias of Cutty, a financial
whiz that nobody has ever seen or

heard of, Laurel is able to take the
industry by storm. Companies that had
earlier refused to even look at her work
are now desperately banging on her
door, wishing to enlist the help of
Cutty. As the mysterious Cutty soon
becomes one of the most powerful men
on Wall Street, and Laurel's genius
continues to be overlooked, she real-
izes that her plan has gone way out of

The crazy romp to follow includes
Laurel having to confront the public as
a pony tailed, Thomas Jefferson-ish
Cutty, her ex-colleague Frank using

than - listen to the proposals of a
woman? I doubt it.
The only thing that can be salvaged
from this movie would be the ending.
The movie seems to sink into an abyss

the imaginary
Cutty for his own
personal gain,
and the attempted
murder of an
imaginary person
before the final
tumultuous end.

The Associate
At Ann Arbor 1 & 2 and Showcase

of bad movie
making, until the
final uplift"
ending attem
to rescue what it
can. Though it
too is a little on
the unrealistic
and predictable

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The concept
behind "The Associate" is not a bad one.
One woman, in the face of male chau-
vinism, assumes another identity in
order to achieve the status which she
justly deserves. But the makers of this
movie either expect the audience to sus-
pend all sense of reality while watching
the film, or do not give the audience
much credit for intelligence. It is easy to
believe that a woman would not be able
to get ahead in the male-biased corpo-
rate world. But for an imaginary person
to emerge and suddenly become the
hottest thing in the industry even though
nobody has ever seen him? This concept
is hard to believe.
Even harder to
believe are the
actions and the
motives of the

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characters. At
one point, Laurel
gains an assis-
tant, Sally, played
by Dianne Wiest.
Sally is probably
the most confus-
ing character in
the movie. The
filmmakers prob-
ably figured that
the main charac-
ter needed a side-
kick, so they
threw Sally in.
She doesn't seem
to really click in
the movie, as her
personality con-
stantly changes

side, it manages to leave the audience
with a good feeling.
Director Donald Petrie. known for hit
comedies such as "Grumpy Old Men"
and "Mystic Pizza," delivers a film that
begins like a made-for-television mo
and ends with a straight-to-video feel.
The performance by Goldberg can be
best described as fiat. But. it is under-
standable considering that she's proba-
bly exhausted, having to take over the
male-dominated corporate world after
taking over the male-dominated world
of basketball in "Eddie." The only spark
of comedic life occurs when she dons
the disguise
Cutty and tries
pass herself off as
a man.
Otherwise, her
performance will
be a disappoint-
ment to fans:.:,
Tim Daly - is
excellent as the
slimy, back stab-
bing Frank. Using
charm to hide '
underlying evW,
Daly's character
totally contrasts
with the nice-guy
he plays on thehit
television series
Overall, this
movie delivers
occasional laughs
through cle*
all Street magic. dialogue and the
antics of
Goldberg's character. Its idea is one that
potentially could have worked, had the
movie not fallen flat on its face some-
time around five minutes into the film.
Fortunately, the makers were able'to
end the movie on a high note.
Unfortunately, those who are in touch
with reality or were expecting some
quality comic relief may have a h
time enjoying it.

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Whoopi works her W

without notice
and we never really understand why
she so desperately wants to help
The male executives are also uncon-
vincing. Is it possible that most male
executives are highly sexist? It's prob-,
able. But are they sexist to the point.
that they would rather give large
chunks of money to a mysterious per-
son whom they've never seen, rather

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