8 to 4 (1981)

July 5, 2014 by adamsunderground

This delightful movie, more homage than parody, reduces its subject 9 to 5’s already breezy script into a near short-story arc, too obvious about office politics to summarize here. It is needlessly careless with a few details for such an uncomplicated work. For example, what motivates clumsy Janie (Loni Sanders) to conspire with coworkers Lisa (Annette Haven) and Molly (Lisa De Leeuw) against Mr. Jarvis? And the intimated success of Molly’s songwriter boyfriend at the film’s start undercuts her own stake in her office’s politics. Baiting Lisa with an Office Manager promotion opportunity, with the film almost elapsed, the screen writing attempts one lone effort at adversity for a heroine. It would have been more effective to spread out any characters’ ups and downs. Aside from this nitpicking, the execution of 8 to 4 proceeds smoothly and swiftly for the lighthearted film’s entire running time.

Stock image of Veronica Hart by Peter Van Aarle, via Wikimedia Commons

All the actresses turn in admirable performances, often ebullient and eager in their eroticism. Only excessive sex talking by the Julie (Veronica Hart) and Pam (Juliet Anderson) characters detracts from the fucking mood. Rationalizing power hungry Pam’s instance can be done from a fem dom standpoint—just not so much with the applicant Julie, whom Jarvis lured onto his casting couch.

Some repeated ticks in the production cost the work highest marks in this review, specifically in the lighting, music, and sound categories. Flawless except for two scenes, the lighting succumbs to detail swallowing darkness during Molly and Janie’s scene in Lisa’s home, as well as in Lisa’s office fantasy/daydream sequence soon after. The music only punctuates sexual action between the movie’s opening and closing shots, which becomes a touch too monotonous and predictable that works against distinct situations. And finally, to the contrary of the later, it is almost clumsy how the editing dims and mutes actors’ vocalizations amid several sex scenes. However laudable the intent to spare the audience from droning moaning and panting, more gradual transitions would be welcome. A well deserved recognition to the crew is due if Lee Caroll’s breasts were artificial while she played her role as the unnamed Hustler honey pot.

Anyone should be able to enjoy this fine movie, whether or not you may be familiar with its inspiration between Dolly Parton’s screen partners.

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8to46

AU Score
Total Grade: A
Specialty Grade
Screenplay B
Acting B
Cinematography A
Film Editing A
Visual Effects B
Audio A
Sound Editing B
Audio Effects B
Musical Score B
Production Design B

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