you get what you settle for

thelma_11

I watched "Thelma and Louise" when I was about 13 or 14, when I was on my Ridley Scott kick. Written by Callie Khouri (who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), it remains one of my all-time favourite movies; I've always had a thing for buddy movies. It had humour and poignancy, well-written characters, snappy dialogue, superb acting and naturally, beautiful directing. And while Brad Pitt might have been the man we're all suppose to drool over in this movie, I was crushing big time on Michael Madsen, who played Louise's (Susan Sarandon) boyfriend, Jimmy.

By the time the movie was winding to a finish and the net was closing around the two of them, I was in tears. I have not watched a movie about female friendship that hit me the same way since.

There's a scene when Louise throws away her jewellery and more symbolically, her lipstick, and she and Thelma trade in their frilly gear for a more no-nonsense look. There's nothing wrong with lipstick and frills, but as a teenager to whom such objects held no appeal, it was deeply inspiring to see two women still look incredibly cool, sexy and beautiful without them.

"Thelma and Louise" doesn't hold up for me as much of a feminist movie and it's frankly depressing to immortalise a woman's choices as being surrender or die. For me, it was always more about its portrayal of friendship and the thrill of living a little more assertively. I have friends who think that Thelma and Louise were demanding more respect by "acting like men" and dislike the idea, but I disagree that toughening up is exclusively a "manly" thing to begin with. If you watch it now 20 years on it might feel a little dated, but it is a touchstone of its time and cinema would be lesser without it.

chase3

Pictures from dark realm fox and susansarandonsite

Comments

miss sophie said…
this is one of the great coming-of-age movies in my opinion, even though i watched it for the first time when i was 21! it doesn't stand up to some rigorous feminist critique, but then again, it doesn't really have to. there are iconic moments in the film like the ones you mentioned, and of course the final scene is joyful and tragic and glorious all at once. i think the designers behind Current/Elliott have been inspired quite a bit from films like Thelma & Louise as well!
lin said…
miss sophie: Hurrah for a fellow fan. And I love a denim brand that takes its cute from Thelma and Louise!
If Jane said…
i thought it was a great film..especially because of susan sarandon!...and "you get what you settle for"---mantra for the next 30 days...;))
lin said…
If Jane: For me, it's a mantra anytime.
angie said…
I lived in holland then and i was 23.I never heard of this film or what it was about . i just wanted to watch a movie and that's the one it was played that week.I 'll never forget the thrill I got from this movie ,everything about it was perfect ,the actors ,the dialoques, the plot ,the free spirit in the movie,the friendship and of course the end.Another movie I got the same feeling from was Betty Blue

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