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Partners is a 1993 short film (36 minutes) directed by Peter Weller.

Dean (Griffin Dunne) is a junior associate at a fancy law firm who has just been made partner. His boss Edward takes Peter along for a meeting with Terry Bidwell, owner of a shipping business, client of the firm. They're greeted at the door by Terry's gorgeous wife Georgeann (Marg Helgenberger), much to Dean's shock, as Georgeann was his girlfriend back in college. Suddenly Dean seems willing to throw his formerly promising law career away to get back with his Old Flame.

The surprisingly loaded cast has veteran character actors like JT Walsh, Ed Begley Jr, Kevin Nealon, Robert Hays, and David Rasche in minor roles.


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Tropes:

  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Dean retreats to a bathroom stall to avoid the pressure at work, only to have the other lawyers come in and talk about how he's finished. They wonder who will get his office.
  • Call-Back: Edward tells Dean a story about how when he first made partner, he told the old man that hired him that the old man was senile and it was time to retire. At the end Dean does this to Edward.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's a big world, but sure, Dean's old girlfriend from fifteen years ago or so can be the wife of his new client.
  • Door Closes Ending: Ends with Dean closing the door to what apparently will be his office now, after Edward leaves.
  • Footsie Under the Table: Dean puts his hand on Georgeanne's thigh at the dinner table. Unfortunately for Dean, Edward notices this.
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  • Gossipy Hens: Apparently Edward let Dean's indiscretion slip at work, because the next day it's all the other lawyers can talk about. Naturally their gossip has Dean going as far as to stick his hand up Georgeanne's privates.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Dean regains consciousness after Terry literally punches him into the next room. He finds Georgeanne and Terry frantically humping.
  • Old Flame Fizzle: Georgeanne accepts Dean's impulsive invitation to run away with him. They are zooming up the Pacific Coast Highway in Dean's car when he pulls over at a scenic point. All of a sudden he seems to realize that he's older now and there's nothing between him and Georgeanne anymore. He drives her back home.
    Dean: We're just good friends.
  • Repeat Cut: The scene where Dean pushes the door to his office shut, only to reveal that Edward was hiding behind it, is done with three repeat cuts to emphasize the shock of the moment.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: After all the other lawyers mock and bully Dean, he has to share an elevator ride downstairs with them. One calls him "asshole".
  • Visual Pun: Georgeanne asks Dean what time it is. Dean looks at his watch and says "2:27 on the nose." Maybe a quarter-second after that, Terry's fist zooms in from out of frame and hits Dean on the nose.
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