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"THE ASSOCIATE"
(1996) (Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Wiest) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate None Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A female investment banker invents a fake male partner in order to succeed in the male dominated world of Wall Street.
PLOT:
Laurel Ayres (WHOOPI GOLDBERG) is a brilliant banking investor who is trying to make it in the male dominated world of Wall Street. When she's passed over for a promotion that instead goes to her partner, Frank (TIM DALY), she quits and starts her own firm. The trouble is, none of the men on Wall Street want to work with a woman, so Laurel creates a fake male partner, Robert S. Cutty, to be the "man" of the firm. Soon her investment strategies are paying off and her firm, and more notably, her mysterious male partner, are the talk of the town. This is especially true with a big time investor Fallon (ELI WALLACH) and his assistant Camille (BEBE NEUWIRTH), who has the "hots" for the fictitious man. Laurel, along with her former assistant and new partner, Sally (DIANNE WIEST), soon have more clients and publicity than they ever dreamed of. But problems arise when everyone suddenly wants to meet with Cutty and Laurel must devise scheme after scheme to explain his absences at big meetings and events. Soon she realizes that Cutty is undermining her status and decides that she needs to get rid of him, which she finds is easier said than done.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless Goldberg draws them in, it's doubtful that younger kids will want to see this.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sensuality and an exotic dance club scene.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG plays an investment whiz who tires of working in a male dominated world where she can't advance. She proves to be successful on her own, partially due to a lie she devises that soon grows out of control.
  • DIANNE WIEST plays the equally talented assistant to Laurel with no bad traits.
  • TIM DALY plays a power hungry corporate climber who takes credit for Laurel's hard work and then later tries to undermine her success.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This movie is similar in plot to "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Tootsie," and other films where the main character turns themselves into a fictitious member of the opposite sex to succeed at whatever their goal is. The makers of this film, however, opted not to have the madcap changing of costumes and identity that usually provides for the greatest humor in these types of films. As a matter of fact, the Cutty character isn't seen all that much. Thus, while the movie has its share of funny moments, it's not the laugh fest you'd expect and we feel somewhat cheated that Goldberg didn't get to have more zany moments. She gives her usual competent performance, but doesn't give anything special to the role (such as Robin Williams did in "Doubtfire" and Dustin Hoffman did in "Tootsie") that could have made this film that much more enjoyable. As it is, we give it just a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The main focus of objection in this film would have to be the sexual content that, although not severe, has enough material to warrant a PG-13 rating. There's a scene in a strip club where bare breasts and buttocks are exposed and there's another scene where a woman comes on to the Cutty character with an implication that she's ready to perform oral sex on him. The worst of the profanity is 7 "s" words and other than moderate amounts of drinking, smoking and men looking down on women in the business world, the rest of the other categories are rather limited in possibly objectionable material. We do suggest, as always, that you read through the category listings before allowing any children to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People are seen drinking in a strip joint and Frank appears to be drunk.
  • Drinks are poured in a bar and Laurel gets her fictitious partner's name (Cutty) from a bottle of scotch with the same name.
  • People drink wine at a dinner party and kids are seen sneaking a sip.
  • People are seen drinking beer and wine at a bar.
  • The maitre d' of a hotel orders his workers to bring the finest bottle of champagne to Cutty's room.
  • Men smoke and drink at the Peabody Club.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Frank takes Laurel and their business associates (all men) to a strip joint and insists they stay although it's obvious that Laurel isn't comfortable there.
  • Frank calls Sally "sweetie" on several occasions and it's obvious that she doesn't like it (since she's his subordinate).
  • Frank gets what should have been Laurel's promotion because he's a man and she's not "one of the boys."
  • Women aren't allowed beyond the lobby of the male only "Peabody Club."
  • After Cutty tells Fallon that a recent project was Laurel's "baby," Fallon responds, "If she wants to have a baby, she can go and find a man and have one."
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Low life, brain sucking pig," "Moron," "Geez," "Jerk," "Screwed" (non sexual), "Sucks," "Bastard," "Shut up," "Stupid Jerk," "Piss her off," and "Idiot."
  • Frank gives the international hand gesture for male masturbation while talking about another person.
  • Kids are seen sneaking sips of wine at a dinner party.
  • Laurel and Sally put a skeleton into a car, tamper with its gas line, and then send it rolling down the road to explode when it hits a Jersey barrier (they're trying to fake Cutty's death).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The phrase "I want to have your baby" is heard in a song.
  • PROFANITY
  • 7 "s" words, 12 damns, 7 hells, 5 "ass" words, 2 SOB's, 1 crap, 1 slang term for breasts (the "t" word), and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "God," "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," and "Oh God," as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Frank takes Laurel and their business associates (all men) to a strip joint. Strippers are seen in skimpy outfits and bare breasts and bare buttocks are seen. A waitress wearing only suspenders for a top is also seen and the men put money into the stripper's g-strings.
  • At the strip joint, another woman asks Laurel, "Do you like her breasts?" Laurel asks why she asked that and the woman replies, "I'm thinking of having mine done....because cleavage helps in business meetings."
  • A man tells Laurel that his wife is his business partner and that she's "wild in the sack."
  • Camille tries on lingerie and is seen in a skimpy outfit that shows her bare buttocks. She's also seen adjusting her breasts and then tells Laurel, "They (men) like doing business with men, but they like to sleep with us."
  • Laurel's female impersonator friend says that the look Laurel's searching for is "slutty yet intelligent."
  • Sally is upset after hearing reports on the news that Cutty (the fictitious man) is having an affair.
  • As Laurel tries to get her voice and delivery right to be Cutty, she/he says (to no one in particular), "I could nail your booty (have sex) in the back of my truck."
  • Camille surprises Cutty (Laurel in drag) in his hotel room. She rips of her clothes revealing the black skimpy lingerie from before (bare buttocks), and climbs on top of Cutty who pushes her away. Camille then unzips his pants, and when pushed away again asks, "Isn't that what you want? (Oral sex)" Cutty says "no" and (holding his crotch) says, "It's not what's down here that's important. It's what's up here (pointing to head)."
  • Frank's girlfriend is seen in just her bra and panties and tells him that she's "unwrapped" his gift (herself).
  • Camille is seen on a TV talk show where she alleges that Cutty is the father of her unborn child.
  • Two gay men hold hands after they see Cutty kiss Frank in front of everyone at the Peabody club.
  • SMOKING
  • People are seen smoking in a strip joint and Frank smokes a cigar.
  • People are seen smoking in the background at a meeting and at a bar.
  • Laurel buys cigars for one of her clients and smells one of them.
  • Camille, a female impersonator, and an investment reporter are often seen smoking.
  • The staff of a corporation buys Cutty a box of cigars.
  • Fallon smokes cigars in several scenes.
  • A detective smokes a cigarette.
  • Men smoke and drink at the Peabody Club.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Laurel has a male friend who's a female celebrity impersonator.
  • There's a scene where Laurel, dressed as Cutty, grabs a bottle (of some liquid) and stands at a urinal while talking with Frank. Large volumes of liquid splash into the urinal and while adults laughed at this during our screening, some kids might not understand what's so funny.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's typical hockey violence at a game Laurel takes a client to.
  • A glass door shatters from a golf ball hit by Laurel at an indoor practice driving range.
  • Laurel warns Frank at a party, "You know, Frank, I can afford to have you killed" after he won't let her be.
  • An investment reporter is heard saying (about a cameraman), "If he touches me again, he'll be sending video from his lower intestine."
  • Cutty squirts some type of spray into Frank's eyes in a restroom.
  • There's some slapstick violence as Frank chases Cutty down a flight of stairs and then crashes into and on top of an investment reporter.
  • Laurel and Sally put a skeleton into a car, tamper with its gas line and then send it rolling down the road to explode when it hits a Jersey barrier (they're trying to fake Cutty's death). It blows up in a huge fireball.



  • Reviewed October 14, 1996

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