you get what you settle for
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.
Pictures from dark realm fox and susansarandonsite