The Associate fell between the cracks somewhat upon release, chided for caricaturing its male characters and the perceived implausibility of its reverse-Tootsie setup. But viewed today amid continued debate about workplace inequality, it's still a pointed comedy with many laughs to mine from its male-dominated milieu. Oct 25, · Directed by Donald Petrie. With Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach, Tim Daly. A comedy about making it on Wall Street. Prejudices are hard to break and Laurel Ayres quickly learns that in order for people to take her seriously she has to work for an older white man or be one/10(7K). The Associate is a American comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and written by Nick Thiel, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Eli Wallach, Tim Daly, and Bebe Neuwirth, alongside Austin Pendleton and Lainie Kazan Plot. Investment banker Laurel Ayres (Whoopi Goldberg) is .