The Associate

on October 25, 1996 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   Laurel (Whoopi Goldberg) and Frank ("Denise Calls Up's" Tim Daly) are two of the best financial analysts in their company. Laurel, the senior of the two, is next in line for a promotion. When her ambitious partner gets the job instead because he's the right gender, however, she starts her own business. No one pays her the time of day, though, until biz whiz Robert S. Cutty comes aboard; the catch is, he's not real, having been invented by Laurel. Now, with the help of her secretary (Dianne Wiest), Laurel must literally become the man if she wants to keep her clients and keep out of jail. (Oscar winning prosthetic makeup artist Greg Cannom is the person responsible for Goldberg's transformation, and for once it works.)
   Earlier this cinema year, a trio of first wives financially destroyed their mates when they were left for younger women; here, two women take the corporate world for a ride. It's been a while since Goldberg was in a good comedy, but the wait is over: "The Associate" is both intelligent and humorous, with Goldberg's casting nigh on perfect in this Hollywood Pictures release. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Tim Daly, Eli Wallach and Bebe Neuwirth. Directed by Donald Petrie. Written by Nick Thiel. Produced by Frederic Golchan, Patrick Markey and Adam Leipzig. A Buena Vista release. Rated PG-13 for sensuality and an exotic dance club scene. Running time: 114 min
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