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Peter Scolari (TV's NEWHART, BOSOM BUDDIES) is Simon Tanner, a lovesick executive who's hot to win over his beautiful but ruthless coworker, Jessica Pierce (Mary Crosby, BODY CHEMISTRY, TV's DALLAS). Jessica is an office man-eater who'll stop at nothing to advance her career. Her passionate tactics backfire, though, when she tries to seduce the boss, Mr. Stickland (Ken Kercheval, TV's DALLAS), who then suffers a heart attack. Thinking Strickland is dead, Jessica begs Simon to help her get rid of the body. The opportunistic Simon plays along, taking advantage of Jessica's heartfelt gratitude before she sees the boss alive. Soon, the executive suites start spinning as Simon, trying to keep a very lively Strickland out of Jessica's path, encounters one close call after another! In the tradition of the great screwball comedies, CORPORATE AFFAIRS "merges" the best elements of WORKING GIRL and WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S into a fast-moving and hilarious commentary on office politics.
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Seems corporate executive Simon Tanner (Scolari) has it bad for his co-worker Jessica Pierce (Crosby), a manipulative, cold hearted shark of a business woman who will resort to just about anything to get to the top. The two have a history, starting off as college sweethearts, but somewhere along the way Simon messed things up (by fooling around with another), causing Jessica to be as she is, I guess...anyway, a senior partnership position has opened up within the investment firm they work for, and the competition is fierce. Simon, in an effort to get Jessica back by concocting a scheme to get her fired, surreptitiously sets her up with what he thinks is a bad investment, with the help of his lawyer played by a young Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm in the Middle"), but she's too smart, pulling the old double cross, making Simon think the deal is bad, when its' actually good (or something like that). Jessica presents her highly lucrative business proposal, but her sleazy, lecherous, and incompetent boss, Arthur Strickland (Kercheval) tries to steal it for himself, forcing Jessica to try and use her feminine whiles to influence him, which results in old man Strickland having a heart attack and dropping dead, or so it would seem (actually, he's just unconscious). Simon, seeing a golden opportunity to win Jessica back, concocts an elaborate scheme (one which I'm still trying to decipher), making her believe she killed Strickland for whatever reason. This results in many psuedo comedic hi-jinks as Simon tries to keep the very much alive Strickland under wraps until his abstract and enigmatic plan comes to fruition.
Whomever wrote the blurb on the back of the DVD case for this movie certainly has big, round ones, in my opinion, trying to pass this feature off as a mixture of Working Girl (1988) and Weekend at Bernie's (1989), stating the film is a `fast moving and hilarious comment on office politics'...oh bruther...a more applicable description would be a cheap, sleazy, and convoluted rip off of those two films, one which features few laughs and no, actual charm. For the first twenty minutes I had little idea what was going on, as the film was a real mish mash of seemingly unrelated sequences with little direction. Eventually the film does find its unsteady footing, shambling along as the main characters become more prominent, only because they had more screen time than the others. I could locate no `comments on office politics', as claimed on the DVD case, but instead just a series of unfunny events dumped in my lap, the main, running joke throughout involving the Strickland character continuously regaining consciousness and subsequently getting knocked out again, and his body ending up in strange places and situations, much like the title character in the farcical film Weekend at Bernie's, minus the wackiness (I kept trying to figure out at what points in the movie I was supposed to laugh). Scolari seems like a nice enough guy, but hardly leading man material...not that he was helped by the script as his character came across as a skeezy, smarmy, little weasel barely worth our attention, and certainly not one entitled to getting it on with Mary Crosby, who, by the way, was wasted terribly here. A perfect example of Scolari's character's overall creepiness can be seen at the beginning as we see Simon, standing in the rain outside Jessica's house, spying on her while she engaged in intimate relations with another man, a man Simon himself eventually pays as he was part of Simon's initial scam. As far as the rest of the performers, they were present (Chris Lemmon seemed oddly at home here), but again, there was so little to their respective characters that they hardly even registered. Crosby's certainly an attractive woman who possesses talent, but as I mentioned earlier, she suffered as the rest, under the shallow nature of the material. Oh yeah, if you're looking for some nekkidness, there is some thrown in here and there (limited to a few topless shots), but nothing with Ms. Crosby, which I couldn't blame her if she declined, as I doubt the makers of the film could have afforded to pay her what she would have been willing to accept for doffing her clothes. I really didn't come into this film expecting a lot, hoping for perhaps a light, forgettable, screwball comedy with a few, cheap laughs, but all I got was cold, clammy, and incongruous rehash better films of the time, populated with unfunny sequences, less than likeable characters, extremely low production values, that never, really came together i.e. typical crud Corman produced and distributed throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s through his Concorde film group.
The fullscreen (1.33:1) provided on this DVD is flat and shabby, about the equivalent of a slightly worn VHS copy, and the audio, supposedly presented in Dolby Digital stereo, sounds muted and often muddled. There are absolutely no extras, which were fine with me, as I really had no interest in spending any more time with this feature than I had to after watching it. Overall an unappealing release for an unappealing film...