Sunday, October 15, 2006

Swing Shift

Starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Swing Shift is a fun, light-hearted look at the American homefront during World War II. Goldie plays Kay, a sailor's wife who goes to work at an airplane factory in California. Along with her friends Hazel and Lucky (Kurt Russell), she begins to find there's a whole lot more to life than being a housewife.

The strongest point of this film, besides the wonderful costumes and well-acted roles, is the focus on discrimination of women in the workplace. Even though the government urged women to go to work in the factories, they faced criticism, sexual harrassment, and rudeness on the job from other men. Worse, they were forced to quit their jobs when the war was over and told to go back home where they belonged - as housewives and mothers.

At the heart of this movie, though, is also the way war plays on human emotions. Affairs were not uncommon on the homefront between married women and single men, just as they were not uncommon for men overseas with foreign women. Kay must take a good look at what she wants out of life when her husband, Jack (Ed O'Neill) finds out she's having an affair with Lucky. Will she choose Lucky, the happy-go-lucky trumpet player or Jack, her faithful and brave husband? The answer just might surprise you.