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ASSOCIATE, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Financial analyst Laurel Ayres (Whoopi Goldberg) is intelligent, sharp-witted and talented in matters of money. She seems to have all the right elements for climbing the Wall Street corporate ladder. But when overlooked for a deserved promotion, she realises that itís a manís world in the money jungle. So she comes up with a risky plan with the help of her secretary Sally (Dianne Wiest), fabricating the persona of Robert S. Cutty, who is a figment of her imagination. Laurelís sound business savvy pays off and Cutty becomes an much sought after success. When it becomes unavoidable, Laurelís make-up artist/drag queen friend helps her disguises herself as the elusive Cutty, who is 60 years old and white! Laurelís underhanded rival Frank (Tim Daly) realises that Laurel is really Cutty and digs deeper in his bag of dirty tricks to use the situation for his own gain.

Louise Keller:
"After watching the very talented Whoopi Goldberg in recent films with disappointing scripts, itís good to see this fine performer with better material - along the lines of her previous successes, Jumping Jack Flash and Burglar. The premise, of course is over the top. But with consummate performers like Goldberg and Dianne Wiest, itís not always what, but how. The way these two pros create movie magic in their scenes together is totally uplifting. The best part about Goldberg is watching her Ďthink aloudí when concocting some wild scheme as part of the script. Her timing is so good and she does it so effectively, that it is sheer joy. Wiest is rock solid: She brings depth and such an understated sense of comedy. The script is sharp and witty. When asked by the bank what are her assets, Goldberg replies "Drive, courage and ambition." And indeed she sets out to show these assets in every way. The character device using a make-up artist/drag queen - who earns his living impersonating famous movie stars such as Barbra Streisand and Cher - is not dissimilar to that used in Mrs Doubtfire, and gives an additional twist to the eventual much anticipated appearance of Robert Cutty; the fact that Cutty looks just like Marlon Brando is just mind-boggling. And Pendleton is terrific, as is the rest of the cast. Watch out for the scene where Goldberg (as Cutty) is confronted in his hotel suite by the seductive Camille (Bebe Neuwirth): it is sheer slapstick as Cutty and Neuwirth cavort on the settee. But apart from the froth and giggle (and there is much of that), there are some deeper and more meaningful issues: womenís equality and recognising people for their true talents. Whoopee - Whoopi is back!"

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"This is how I look as Cher!"


Laurel - sitting in Cutty's chair


Dianne Wiest and Whoopi Goldberg: magic together

ASSOCIATE (THE) (PG)
(US)

CAST: Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach, Tim Daly, Helen Hanft, George Morfogen, Zeljko Ivanek, Miles Chapin

PRODUCER: Frederic Golchan, patrick Markey, Adam Leipzig

DIRECTOR: Donald Petrie

SCRIPT: Nick Thiel (based on the motion picture LíAssocie, based on the novel El Socio by Jenaro Prieto)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alex Nepomniaschy

EDITOR: Bonnie Koehler

MUSIC: Christopher Tyng

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew Jackness

RUNNING TIME: 113 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 22, 1997







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