Idol Chatter

For some of us the Labor Day weekend is a nice break to celebrate the final days of summer. For other people like me, it symbolizes an official return to work after a long summer break. Either way, in honor of the holiday, I thought I would make a few DVD recommendations that celebrate the working class just in case vegging out in front of the TV is part of your long weekend plans.
If you feel like you want to confess how many times you have watched “Office Space” or “Weekend at Bernies” – two of my faves that I didn’t put on the list – feel free to do so in the comment box! Or you can just tell me your favorite movie about the workplace that I left off of my list.
Leverage: A huge cheat that I am listing an entire TV series as a DVD pick, I know, but I have only just discovered this TNT series this summer and I really like it. It’s a better, modern version of “The A Team” with a cast of motley characters who hatch a plan each week to take back from the corrupt corporate rich to give to the working class poor. You can catch up on all of last season and this season’s episodes online through Netflix immediately, so you don’t even have to go to the store or wait for the DVDs in the mail!
Sunshine Cleaning: I missed this movie when it was in theaters, but it came out on DVD last week, and it’s an interesting mix of gruesome, sweet, and funny. Tired of dead end jobs, Amy Adams plays a woman who finds some purpose for her own life through starting a cleaning business that specializes in mopping up crime scenes .If dark comedy is your taste, you don’ want to miss this one.

Tootsie: Considered more of a romantic comedy, this may not seem an obvious choice for a workplace comedy, but Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of an unemployed actor who dresses as a woman to get a job on a soap opera represents the ultimate in creativity to solve the unemployment blues. (It is also less of a guilty pleasure than recommending Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl.”)
Gung Ho: Who knew two Michael Keaton movies from the 80s could still be so timely? In this movie, Keaton is an auto plant worker who becomes middle management when a Japanese factory takes over the plant. When the Japanese threaten to close the plant, Keaton has to strike a deal to save jobs and save the community.
Mr. Mom: Considering the current state of the economy, this Michael Keaton movie is also, unfortunately, rather timely, as Keaton plays a dad who is suddenly an unemployed auto worker who takes on the arduous task of staying at home with the kids while his wife goes back to work. The company picnic scene is a favorite of mine as is the scene in which one of his children must give up his “wubby.” The movie is also be a nice way to remember the late John Hughes, as he wrote this movie before he hit it big writing teen angst.

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