As the series goes on, it becomes more apparent that the feud between Davis and Crawford has been partially manufactured by the press and the male heads of the movie studio as they play the aging actresses against one another.
Wow. Though I’ve never seen the film that the series is based on, I might be tempted to watch it. Lange, Sarandon, and Molina are fantastic in their roles. One of the points that were made was that while men are allowed to age, a woman has a shelf life. Once she is on the figurative shelf, she is automatically replaced by a younger model. The number of older women that are still allowed to be active is often limited and pitted against one another because G-d forbid a woman of a certain age is active and vital as her male counterpart.
Like other Ryan Murphy-headed projects, there is a message built into the story. There is also a subtle level of campiness that allows the audience to laugh while observing that the superficial bullshit that is the backbone of the narrative is still alive and well today.
The book not only tells the story of how the movie was made, but it also speaks of the boundaries that were broken in the process. Interviewing the actors, Khouri, the producers, and others, it is a fascinating tale both in front of and behind the camera that created a crack in the glass ceiling and opened the doors for women to be more than a pretty face on the screen.
I loved this book. I also love the movie, in case you didn’t notice. What was not surprising was not just the usual strung-out process from page to screen, but also the idea of a female screen writer creating a tale that is more than the expected narrative. It’s a reminder of how far we have come and how far we still need to figuratively travel.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge is available wherever books are sold.
Old friends are like an old jacket. It immediately feels comfortable. But what happens when life steers you in a different direction?
In the 2002 film, The Banger Sisters, Suzette (Goldie Hawn) and Lavinia (Susan Sarandon) were once best friends and wild child rock and roll groupies. But life, like it, often does, changes things. Suzette still lives the rock and roll lifestyle. But Lavinia is no longer the groupie that she once was. She has morphed into a traditional suburban wife and mother.
When Suzette realizes that she is without a job, without money and without anyone to help her, she goes to visit Lavinia. Can these two old friends re-connect and or has life gotten in the way?
This film is cute. It’s not horrible, but it’s not Oscar-worthy either. However, it is lovely to see a film about two female characters that have nothing to do with men and are of a certain age.
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. It is a job that lasts a lifetime. The title of Mom is not a 9-5 job. But it is the most rewarding title a woman can have, if she chooses it.
In 1998’s Stepmom, Jackie Harrison (Susan Sarandon) has been diagnosed with potentially life threatening cancer. Her ex-husband, Luke (Ed Harris) has settled down with Isabel Kelly (Julia Roberts). Jackie, a stay at home mother, is trying to acclimate her children to their father’s new girlfriend. Isabel tries to balance her successful career as a photographer with her new responsibilities as a stepmother. Can Isabel and Jackie see eye to eye and come to terms with the life, the man and the children that they will be sharing?
I haven’t seen this movie in a long time, but it is a proper, heartbreaking drama. With an excellent cast and a realistic and potent story, this movie makes me grateful for my own mother and the sacrifices she made.
In the Kids Are All Right (2010), Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have been together for a long time. Their children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) were both conceived via artificial insemination. Nic, the doctor, likes control and order while Jules, who is starting a landscaping business is less into control and order.
Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo), Joni and Laser’s biological father and sperm donor. With the chaos that Paul brings to their lives, what will happen when the dust settles? Will Paul be a permanent fixture in their lives or will he continue to be just the sperm donor?
I happen to like this movie very much. Not just that it disproves that LGBTQ couples are incapable of raising responsible, capable children, but also that their relationships are no different than their straight counterparts. It is also proves that families come in all different forms and life no matter your gender or sexual preference is never simple.
A young woman, usually a princess, has met her prince or is on her way to her prince. But there is usually a witch or another barrier to their happily ever after. They usually take themselves very seriously.
In 2007, Enchanted, the good people of Disney satirized themselves.
Animated Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) is on her way to her happily ever after with Prince Edward (James Marsden). But Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) will do anything to prevent Giselle’s and Edward’s union. Giselle is banished from the magical, musical world that she knows and find herself in gritty, complicated New York City where true love does not always win out in the end.
Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey) is a divorce lawyer raising his young daughter by himself. He is practical, realistic man who takes Giselle home. He also has a girlfriend, Nancy Tremaine (Idina Menzel), whom he is trying to propose to. Giselle begins to have feelings for Robert and understand that love is not as simple as she thought. But with her fairy tale prince searching for her, she has to decide what she wants: the simple, predictable happily ever after or the ever questioning, complicated real world?
I’m not a huge Disney fan. But the fact that this movie satirizes and respects Disney earns my respect. I liked the character’s journey, especially the ones that come from the animated world and have to learn that life is not so simple.
Once upon a time, women were taught to settle down and maintain a quiet life. Support their husband, raise their children and take care of the home. Nothing more.
Betty Friedan explored this issue in her 1963 classic feminist text, The Feminine Mystique. She labelled it “the problem that has no name”.
The 1991 movie, Thelma and Louise completely destroyed the idea that a woman had to be meek, amiable and subservient. Louise (Susan Sarandon) works as a waitress and lives with her musician boyfriend who is always on the road. Thelma (Geena Davis) stays in the kitchen so her husband can watch football. Needing a break from their hum-drum lives, Thelma and Louise decide to go on a road trip. Their road trip takes a sudden turn when Louise kills the man who tries to rape Thelma and they are now hunted by the police.
This is nothing but a classic. The journey of the characters represents so many women who made the choice to cut the apron strings that kept them tied to hearth and home and take the road less traveled. And of course, no mention of Thelma and Louise is complete without Brad Pitt’s boy toy character and that six pack of his.
Little Women, for me as a reader, was a rite of passage. I was introduced to the March sisters at a young age. A precursor of my addiction to classic literature by female authors in the 18th and 19th centuries, Little Women holds a place in my heart.
There have been several film adaptations of the novel. The most recent big screen adaptation was released 20 years ago. Inhabiting the lives of the March sisters are Trini Alvarado (Meg, the sensible eldest sister), Winona Ryder (Jo, the tomboy who wishes to be a writer), Claire Danes (Beth, the homebody) and Kirsten Dunst / Samantha Mathis (wild child Amy). Rounding out the cast is Susan Sarandon as Mrs. March, Christian Bale as Laurie, Gabriel Byrne as Friedrich Bhaer and Eric Stoltz as John Brooke.
I like this movie. It’s true to the book while not sacrificing cinematic quality. This movie is good and still holds up after 20 years.