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Hollywood’s Depiction of Investment Bankers

By Taylor Marvin

I spent part of last night beginning — and later abandoning — the 2011 comedy Take Me Home Tonight. What was interesting about the otherwise pretty tedious film was its portrayal of investment bankers: star Topher Grace’s attempt to attract his dream girl by pretending to work at Goldman Sachs is a major plot point, and investment bankers are repeatedly depicted as aspirational authority figures. This seems odd. Though the film is set in the 1980s, it still seems fairly tone deaf  and dated to depict investment bankers in a generally positive light, especially when many of the bankers in question work at Goldman Sachs. Interestingly, there’s an explanation for this oddly anachronistic feel — Take Me Home Tonight wrapped up filming in 2007, before being stuck in release limbo for four years. The fact that this depiction of investment bankers feels so jarring is evidence of just how much American economic culture has changed in the aftermath of the Great Recession. I can’t think of other examples of this shift off the top of my head, but I’m sure they’re common.

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