Countless numbers of people spend around 40 hours every week in an office environment, and as art so often imitates life, it’s not surprising that movies are frequently set in offices and framed around workplace dynamics and relationships. Some of the most memorable and best loved movies have taken advantage of the office setting movie trope. Below are just four classic and highly acclaimed examples, in reverse chronological order, from a list of films that could conceivably stretch on for pages.
The Devil Wears Prada
A Baptism by Fire in a High Stakes Office
In the 2006 comedy hit, The Devil Wears Prada, a star-studded cast that includes Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep depicts life in a fast-paced, competitive office environment. This movie takes the audience on a tour of an intense and high profile New York office where fashion is king and coworkers are ruthless. The film chronicles one naïve new employee as she faces a constant stream of difficulties adjusting to the hectic pace and cutthroat work setting.
Reclaiming the Workplace
Office Space is a movie practically synonymous with office life. It was first released in 1999 and quickly grew into a cult classic. Office Space follows three disgruntled office employees who hatch a plan to stick it to their utterly annoying, selfish boss and pad their bank accounts in the process. What follows is a hilarious interpretation of the dismal extremes of office life and a generation of people who will doubtlessly threaten to go “Office Space” on finicky office equipment at some point in their career.
Nine to Five
An Office Mutiny
This 1980 comedy features three fed up women who work for a sexist, bigoted boss in corporate office setting. Tired of taking abuse at the hands of their chauvinistic boss, the three female employees finally turn the tables on their manager, leading to a zany and memorable chain of events. This is an office movie classic that boasts talent such as Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton. Anyone – and particularly any woman – who has ever had to work under a truly obnoxious and narrow minded boss will appreciate change of office power dynamics.
Bringing Your Work Home with You
Don’t let the name fool you, this 1960 classic has as much to do with the office as it does with the apartment in question. Although it has a few decades under its belt, The Apartment is a film that anyone who’s ever worked in a large, corporate office setting can identify with on some level. The movie chronicles a lowly employee at a major insurance agency who loans out his cozy bachelor pad to high ranking company executives for use as an extramarital love nest. While the subject matter may be outlandish, the common themes of office politics, the importance of the executive hierarchy, and the struggle to climb the corporate ladder will ring true to many employees, just as it has for over 50 years.