It’s a shame the anniversary edition of “9 to 5” doesn’t take the movie seriously. When it was released in 1980, the film was not only a charming vehicle for Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton, but also a subversive statement on the oppression of women in the workplace. This Fox re-release, dubbed the “Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot Edition,” gives lip service to that legacy, but the package’s primary focus is on giggling self-congratulation.
Though the disc holds several featurettes and a commentary track with the stars, every bonus sounds like the same press release. All we’re told is that everyone loved each other and that the movie was a hit with secretaries and Tomlin’s elderly relatives.
Granted, the enthusiasm can be infectious. Parton especially charms, even letting loose with a few mild curses, giving these features some of their few spontaneous moments.
But unabashed praise is only interesting for so long. At best, we’re shown just enough of the bigger issues to be reminded of how much this disc overlooks.
It’s mentioned, for instance, that a modern studio film wouldn’t show its heroines bonding over marijuana and violent revenge fantasies, but no one stops to question why.
Nor does anyone suggest that the movie’s ending might be a little clunky or that its second act, in which the women steal a body from a hospital, is a tad convoluted. Instead, every scene gets lavished with equal praise.
Compliments would mean more if they were reserved for the places where “9 to 5” truly excels.