10 Top Career Films: Part Two

By Paula Santonocito

smw - 10 top career films, part twoLast week, SingleMindedWomen.com looked at five films that successfully tackle various aspects of the employment experience.

Here, in no particular order, are another five movies that get it right when it comes to work and career-related issues.

The Devil Wears Prada. If early in your career you had the misfortune of working for a she-devil, you’ll certainly relate to this film.

Anne Hathaway stars as an inexperienced young woman who must deal with a difficult boss, played by Meryl Streep.

Hathaway’s character, Andy Sachs, doesn’t fit with the company for which she works, and she is made to feel that everything about herself, from her looks and wardrobe to her goals and ideals, are wrong.

Although some of the scenes border on clichés, they nevertheless ring true. What’s more, Hathaway and Streep play off each other brilliantly.

You’ve Got Mail. “Single woman entrepreneur struggles against powerful corporation” could be the subtitle of this movie, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

Ryan plays the owner of a small New York City bookstore that has been losing business to a bookstore chain, run by Hanks’ character, Joe Fox.

The primary focus of the film is the online connection between the two characters, who initially don’t know their offline lives overlap, and their romance.

Against this somewhat contrived backdrop, the film realistically portrays a single woman trying to make a go of a family business in a changing world. It gets a lot of the work-related challenges right. And of course the chemistry between Ryan and Hanks makes the romance believable.

American Beauty. Even though the story’s lead characters in “American Beauty” are married, they are estranged. As a result, this film quasi qualifies as a SingleMindedWomen.com flick pick.

An exception would have to be made anyway because “American Beauty” has several of the all-time-best work scenes.

Kevin Spacey is unforgettable as Lester Burnham, an unhappy employee who makes a career change. Annette Bening plays his wife, a realtor driven to succeed, whose work-life also figures prominently in the story.

It’s difficult to classify “American Beauty,” which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. The film contains a lot of humor, and it will make you laugh. But it also offers an incredibly accurate portrayal of the subtleties of human interaction.

The story is complex and moving, and in fact no synopsis of the plot does it justice. See this film. Period.

The Client. This movie stars Susan Sarandon, who plays an attorney representing a young client.

It’s fascinating to watch Sarandon, in the role of Reggie Love, struggle with crossing the line from professional to personal, while trying to rein herself in.

Sarandon, nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, owns every scene in which she appears.

This film clearly shows how a single woman can be consumed by her career, and be rewarded by the experience while also experiencing heartbreak.

The Pursuit of Happyness. Although this movie is about a single father, as opposed to a single mother,  it deserves a spot on the list.

To say that the lead character faces career challenges and rises above them is an understatement. The fact that the film is based on a true story makes it all the more inspiring.

Will Smith was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance as Chris Gardner. Smith’s real-life son, Jaden, plays his son in the movie.

The outstanding acting is reason enough to stay riveted to the screen. However, the lessons this film serves up about priorities and perseverance make “The Pursuit of Happyness” an important career film.

Got a career-related film you’d like to recommend to SingleMindedWomen.com readers? Log in and share your flick pick.

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