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.
25 years ago, a new buddy action adventure film premiered. While most movies within the genre had male protagonists, this film had female protagonists who added one more crack to the glass ceiling.
That movie is Thelma and Louise. Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis) is a housewife. Her husband would prefer that she stay in that little bubble of everything that is being a housewife. Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) is a waitress whose musician boyfriend is never home. Together, the women will go on a journey to not only free themselves from the confines of their past and what is considered to be “appropriate” for women, but they will also help to inspire the women in the audience to free themselves of their shackles in their own lives.
This movie is revolutionary. Even today, 25 years after the initial release, the journey that the lead characters go on continue to inspire women. What also makes the movie stand out is that there are still very few movies with strong, female protagonists who are not reliant on a relationship or a romantic partner to get by.
Happy Birthday, Thelma and Louise. Thanks for the inspiration.
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.