Weekend Getaway – Thelma & Louise (1991)

Girls and crime.  So this is about two women (Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis) who decide to just run off for a weekend and have some bonding time over some fishing in the wilderness.  When they take an impromptu stop at a country night club on the way, a situation with a handsy gentleman escalates quickly, and it results in them becoming fugitives as they attempt to outrun the law throughout the Southwestern United States on route to Mexico.  Now I was not actually trying to get in touch with my inner woman here; this movie is on the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list that me and my wife are making our way through.  I had watched this previously when I was working my way through the library of Ridley Scott a few years back, and when you look at his career as a whole, he is definitely one of the most diverse directors out there; he tackles comedies, dramas, period pieces, crime and horror, and can do any of them fluently.

girlsFrom the director of Alien.

Now being that this was my second viewing of this and there were fewer surprises, I will say that this depreciated a bit for me.  There are a lot of interesting elements and themes, but the biggest deterrent to this is that this has a 130-minute runtime, and you feel it.  It just spends an expanded amount of time on some of the more unnecessary parts of the story, and because of that, it can’t help but feel melodramatic at points.  As you can probably guess, I’m not a woman in a struggling relationship, so there may be a slight disconnect.  It’s never bad at any point, and I think all of the Oscar nominations that this received are well-founded, but I just don’t think this film is going to completely stand the test of time as we get further and further away from 1991.

thelmaWhat’s the shelf life of the Indigo Girls?

I do think Thelma & Louise is a worthwhile film.  How much you like it really boils down to how much you connect with these characters.  You get to know their personality types very quick, and they emote in such a way that you can relate to them being placed in this extreme scenario, but it is not shy in the fact that it is geared toward women.  Another thing (and this is really no fault of the movie), is that this story has one of the most spoiled endings of all time; there’s The Sixth Sense, Fight Club and this, and for first time viewers, it’s sure to undercut a lot of potential tension of the finale.  Thelma & Louise has quality performances from these actresses playing two characters who have nothing to lose, and I recommend that you at least see it once, but I don’t think it benefits from repeat viewing, nor does it really merit it.

Thelma & Louise (1991) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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