Working Girl (1988) Movie Summary

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Tess McGill, played by Melanie Griffith with a coked-out bloat, is a stockbroker’s secretary from Staten Island. She has a bachelor’s degree from night school, so of course, she can take on the world. And Tess doesn’t just want to be the head of the secretary pool, she wants an executive position.

Unfortunately, she can’t get anyone to take her seriously. Probably due to the accent Tess. After getting in trouble again, she is reassigned to a new financial executive, Katherine Parker, played by Ellen Fucking Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver. Katherine encourages Tess to be open with her ideas, which screams back stabbing bitch immediately.

Unfortunately, Tess shares a good idea about a potential merger, and Katherine says she will check into it. However, soon after, Katherine tells her that the idea won’t work. Meanwhile, back at home, Tess’s boyfriend, who looks a lot like Jack Ryan, is cheating on her with one of her friends. Feeling alone, Tess doesn’t know which way to go.

Shortly afterwards, Katherine breaks her leg in a skiing accident while on vacation, and she asks Tess to run her life for her until she is well enough to travel. While taking care of some of Katherine’s personal items for her, Tess discovers a message where Katherine was going to use Tess’s idea as her own. Feeling betrayed and lied to, Tess decides to betray and lie too, and soon tries to make the deal work on her own.

She sets up shop at Katherine’s apartment since her boss will gone for a while. And since this is a fantasy film, all of Katherine’s expensive dresses fit her. Tess sets up a meeting with Jack Trainer, a business contact of Katherine’s, in the hopes he can help make Tess’s business deal go through.

Once she meets Jack, she starts to fall for him. Because just like her boyfriend, he too looks like Jack Ryan. Jack and Tess begin to put together the merger deal for Trask industries. Jack believes that Tess is legitimate executive because she has the requisite shoulder pads and bad professional haircut. The two begin to lie and cheat their way to a business deal, including crashing Trask’s daughter’s wedding. Tess and Jack begin to fall in love and soon sleep together.

Soon after, Katherine announces that she is returning home, and Tess must clean Katherine’s apartment with a spirited run of topless vacuuming. Once Katherine returns, she announces that she wants to get serious with her boyfriend, Jack Trainer. Tess is appalled that she has slept with her bosses’ boyfriend, but still meets up with Jack to close the deal with Trask. Katherine gets wind of Tess’s plans and shows up to take credit for the deal and expose Tess for being the lonely secretary that she is.

A few days later, the meeting to close the deal is reset with Katherine leading the plan now with Jack. Tess is present in the meeting to pack her things and go. Jack, for some reason, chooses to stick with Tess over Katherine. Tess in her Yoda like wisdom, has new information that make impact the deal. She shares the information with Trask, who then confronts Katherine about how she came up with the idea.

When Katherine fails to come up with a response, because that is how stupid her character has become, Trask tells her to go back into her office and take one last long look around, although Katherine doesn’t even work for him. Trask offers Tess an entry level job with his company telling her that she will have to work her way up.

Tess and Jack begin their new life together, and Tess finds out that this time she has a secretary at the new office that she can begin shitting all over too.

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