After a seven hour day employed in an average nine-to-five job full of photocopying, emailing and report-writing, the thought of spending your free time watching films or programmes set in the workplace might fill you with horror. Funnily enough, though, some of the most entertaining and addictive movies and TV series’ have featured employment in a big way; from hilarious tales of nightmare bosses to romance across the bookshelves, there’s a little something for everyone in our list of five favourite workplaces featured on the big screen.
The Devil Wears Prada
Scary and fabulous in equal parts, the office of renowned fashion magazine Runway is run by the icy hand of evil style overlord Miranda Priestly. Played by the excellent Meryl Streep, Priestly spends her days striding through the office fiercely and reducing people to floods of tears – including new, sartorially challenged assistant Andy Sachs. Admittedly, we wouldn’t want to spend our days weeping into the coffee machine, but think of all the benefits of working for a fashion magazine; access to the huge clothing and accessories cupboard, the glitzy parties, rubbing shoulders with A-List celebrities every night.... and surely even Miranda Priestly would relax a bit after a mid-afternoon cup of tea and a custard cream?
Probably the most well known workplace in the world, the home of Wernham Hogg Paper Company is made up of a rainbow of characters; mildly offensive and cringe-worthy boss David Brent, jobsworthy assistant Gareth Keenan, and will-they-won’t-they office romance contenders Dawn Tinsley and Tim Canterbury. While a stationary manufacturers in Slough might not seem like the most exciting place to work, we think the entertainment value would be huge; witnessing the obnoxious Gareth fall victim to Tim’s endless stream of practical jokes, flinching at David Brent’s inappropriate humour and wondering whether Tim and Lucy might finally get together would more than make up for the fact that we worked in one of the most boring offices in the world.
A workplace with a difference, the offices and newsroom of 1970’s KVWN-TV Channel Four Evening News is probably the most entertaining workplace we’ve ever come across. Lead anchor Ron Burgundy is accompanied by his eclectic team of friends; field reporter Brian Fantana, sportsman Champion Kind and meteorologist Brick Tamland, who all work together to eliminate the new female co-anchor, Veronica Corningstone. Working in a newsroom would probably be interesting enough, but when you add in high jinks such as auto-cue sabotage, fights with tridents, toy guns, and the mind-boggling world observations of the unique Brick, we can’t think of anywhere we’d rather work. We love lamp.
You’ve Got Mail
While most fictional workplaces are based in some sort of office, You’ve Got Mail is set amongst the wonderful world of retail; literature and books, to be exact. Indie shop owner Kathleen Kelly discovers a big-name bookshop chain is set to open around the corner from her store, and ends up battling big boss Joe through a public media war and series of boycotts. Admittedly not the most well paid sector in the world, retail can be incredibly hard work and often physically demanding, but we think it’d be worth putting up with achey feet to spend our days in Kathleen’s wonderful shop; cosy corners for reading quietly, comfortable chairs and cosy fairy lights all make it the ideal place for literature lovers to spend their days.
Its office work alright, but not as we know it; set in the advertising world in the 1960’s, the offices of Sterling Cooper are run by slick creative director Don Draper and employ a wide range of characters, from Don’s secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy and office manager Joan, to the mad men themselves; the manipulative Pete Campbell, senior partner Roger and aspiring author Ken. From smoking in the boardroom, to sneaking off for afternoon drinks and liaisons, the world of Sterling Cooper couldn’t be any different to modern offices; we’d love to hop back in time and spend a day working with the Mad Men – from sporting the eclectic vintage fashions and slick 1960’s styles, to being privy to all the secrets and dramas occurring in the typing pool and boardroom, we can’t think of a more interesting place to work. We wouldn’t say no to those lengthy working lunches either....
Top image credit: Carin Baer / AMC