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The Associate 1996 PG-13 CC

(89) IMDb 6/10
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Laurel hits the "glass ceiling" and she invents a male "associate."

Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest
1 hour, 54 minutes

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 12, 2005
Format: DVD
A Fun Light-Hearted Movie about a Woman in a Man's World. That one sentence sums up the Associate, with Whoppi Goldberg playing a woman trying to break the glass ceiling in the world of high-finance.

Whoppi does a good job playing Laurel Ayers, a woman who has been passed over too many times. When she sets out on her own, she can't get clients until she creates a partnership with a fictional male, Mr. Cutty. While she experiences success, it is bittersweet because her fictional male partner is seen as the brains of the organization. In the end, she goes to drastic measures to make the world see that she is the one who deserves the credit for her ideas.

This movie is a lot of fun to watch. It's true, you can watch it many times over, especially if you love the world of finance and enjoyed movies like "Trading Places."

The movie also has a real message, which is the prejudice that prevents women from sometimes getting the credit they deserve. It's been 10 years since this movie was made. One would hope that the business world had changed since then, and it has in some ways. But, some of the painful neglect she suffers in the movie still rings true.

While this is a good fun movie, it is not a masterpiece of film. It's a fun movie to watch if you don't want to think too much and if you like cliche's about the "old-boys club." Some of the plot gets just a little too silly towards the end, as her elaborate ruse unravels. I think they could have given the audience a little more to chew on with a more believable portrayal.

Still, it's worth a watch. Buy it, watch it, enjoy it!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 28, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This movie got iffy reviews when it came out, much to my shock and dismay. I didn't see it until it came out on video and was astonished that it had been so under-rated for so long. This is a fantastic, hilarious comedy with a wonderful script of surprises, empowerment, and that really "complete" feeling you get after watching a classic. Whoopi is excellent in this role, and it will make everyone feel great. People who really know what good writing and acting are will love this movie, unlike the one negative reviewer below. He obviously didn't see the same movie we all watched. The plot is tight, the characters ring true, and the ending is perfect and succinct. This is not the run-of-the-mill Hollywood film, which is perhaps why it didn't blow away the box office. If you like rehashed scripts, such as the kind that are created by Tim Robbin's studio executive-role via the movie, "The Player," and the kind of movies that keep teens paying $8 just for "something to do" on a Friday night, then you probably won't like this movie. It is definitely no, "Dude, Where's my car" or "Lethal Weapon 4" etc. It's thoughtful, and it's unlike anything else in Hollywood, as it portrays women in a very positive light, and does not attach their main defining characteristics with sex. This movie does have sex in it, however, and an accurate portrayal of the roles men and women actually occupy in the U.S.A., especially in business. Women who watch it are the best judges of this, since we all live this kind of life and see this kind of thing very frequently.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. CRADDOCK VINE VOICE on September 23, 2008
Format: DVD
The Associates is a Whoopi Goldberg vehicle about a Black woman on Wall Street. Though she is smart and hard working, no one takes her seriously, so she invents a White male associate, Robert S. Cutty. Though no one ever sees him, he gets the reputation of being a financial genius. The more he hides, the more people want to see him, until finally, Whoopi, with the help of a drag queen, does reverse drag as a White male.

The Associates is mildly entertaining, though the rapid rise of Robert S. Cutty is not really plausible. He makes one deal and the next thing you know he is on the cover of Fortune. Still, it is just an excuse for Whoopi to turn the tables and make a statement about racial prejudice and sexism. Oh, yeah, it is a comedy, not a Wall Street Journal primer on finance. The financial stuff is not very realistic, and I guess it isn't trying to be Wall Street(the Oliver Stone film), but Trading Places with Eddie Murphy was a lot more successful in showing how the world of high finance operates, and also in exploring racial prejudice with comedy. The Associates doesn't really aspire to be realistic, as it is only a flimsy premise for the whacky antics of Goldberg & Co.

Bebe Neuwirth plays a smart broker who tries to use her gender to her advantage. There is a totally gratuitous scene with her modeling lingerie, which I enjoyed--but felt that it was not integral to the plot; in fact it was more like a non sequitar. Perhaps it was meant to set up a joke later on, and should be judged solely on whether or not you laughed. I did chuckle a bit here and there, and was amused.

One other quibble, the whole movie was building towards a climax where Whoopi impersonates Robert S. Cutty, her imaginary White male Associate, and I think they cheated.
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