The Associate

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Associate (Hollywood Pictures Movie)

“The Associate” is a comedy film released in 1996, directed by Donald Petrie. The movie stars Whoopi Goldberg as Laurel Ayres, Dianne Wiest as Sally Dugan, and Eli Wallach as Donald Fallon.

The story follows Laurel Ayres, a talented and ambitious African-American woman who is a financial analyst with excellent ideas and skills. However, she faces discrimination and is repeatedly overlooked for promotions at her Wall Street firm due to her gender and race.

Fed up with the unfair treatment, Laurel decides to create a fictional male business partner named Robert S. Cutty. She presents her brilliant ideas to her colleagues as if they were coming from Robert. The deception works, and her ideas are finally acknowledged and implemented.

As Laurel’s success grows, she finds herself entangled in a web of lies, trying to maintain the facade of her fictional partner. The film follows her hilarious and challenging journey as she navigates the complexities of running a successful business while keeping her secret hidden.

“The Associate” is known for its witty humor and satirical take on corporate culture and gender discrimination. Whoopi Goldberg’s charismatic performance adds charm and comedic flair to the story.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Goldberg’s performance but criticism for the script’s uneven tone.

“The Associate” serves as a touchstone for viewers seeking a light-hearted and entertaining comedy that addresses important social issues. It remains a fun and enjoyable film that offers a humorous perspective on the challenges faced by women in the corporate world and the lengths one might go to break through the glass ceiling.

Additional Details


  • Whoopi Goldberg: Laurel Ayres / Mr. Robert S. Cutty
  • Dianne Wiest: Sally Dugan
  • Eli Wallach: Donald Fallon
  • Tim Daly: Frank Peterson
  • Bebe Neuwirth: Camille Scott
  • Austin Pendleton: Aesop Franklin
  • Lainie Kazan: Cindy Mason
  • George N. Martin: Walter Manchester
  • Kenny Kerr: Charlie
  • Lee Wilkof: Bissel
  • Željko Ivanek: SEC Agent Tompkins
  • Colleen Camp Wilson: Detective Jones
  • Jerry Hardin: Harley Mason
  • Allison Janney: Sandy
  • Larry Gilliard, Jr.: Thomas
  • Vincent Laresca: José
  • Jonathan Freeman: Hockey game executive
  • John Rothman: Jogging track executive
  • Johnny Miller: himself
  • Sally Jessy Raphael: herself
  • Donald Trump: himself


  • Director: Donald Petrie
  • Producer: Frederick Golchan, Adam Leipzig and Patrick Markey
  • Screenplay: Nick Thiel

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.