A Night with the Girls

If you haven’t seen Thelma and Louise in a while or ever, it’s time to do it.  My friend rented an entire movie theater for a screening with a bunch of women last week.

I usually head to my beach town every other Thursday, but the movie party was on a Thursday night, so I had to decide. Go to the beach alone or spend one night with friends? Taking into account the fact that I hadn’t done much in the past 14 months because of the pandemic, I decided to delay the beach and share a night with the girls.

And Loren. He was the token male, and I’m sure he came because of the great soundtrack (he is a musician) and because 2/3 of his trio would be there, and they wanted him there, too.

As we watched Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon get into more and more trouble after Geena’s Thelma got too drunk and ended up in the bar parking lot with a scumbag pig of a guy, I realized why this is such a chick flick. Thirty years ago, when the movie was made, there was no #MeToo movement. Women were being raped and not going to the police because of the way they dressed or danced or acted. People would say that they were asking for it.

Oh, how I remember those days, when women were blamed for dressing too promiscuously or having too many drinks or going somewhere alone. Heaven forbid that they would have the same rights as a guy, to go into a bar alone and have a cocktail.

But I digress.

The best part of the movie was when a 28-year-old Brad Pitt entered, stage right, as the country-boy hitchiker. Believe me, we were all Googling how old he was in the movie (except maybe Loren) because he looked so young and so dang cute.

When Thelma and Louise kidnapped the police officer on the road through Arches National Park, it wasn’t quite as funny as maybe it had been thirty years ago. And when the reggae pothead came along to blow smoke into the trunk airholes that the girls had provided the cop, I commented that finally a person of color was in the movie.

The rest of the actors were white, white, and white.

The scene where the girls blew up the rude truckdriver’s oil tank rig was also not as funny these days. In 1991, it probably seemed hilarious that the jerk trucker got what he deserved, but this time around, it seemed sort of ridiculous that they would destroy his rig because of his nasty but harmless behavior.

When the movie was over, we applauded. Before it started, we’d had a group photo taken of us dressed as Louise with our headscarves and sunglasses. The movie theater male staff thought we were a bit nutso but also looked on with interest. Yes, we are women of a certain age (and fully vaccinated), but they could tell that we were having a good time.

When I got home, I was amazed at how much fun I’d had. I wasn’t able to eat popcorn or drink a soda.  I watched a movie from 1991 that I’d already seen.  But none of that mattered. We sat as a group, laughed as a group, Googled as a group, and wished the birthday girl well. We even sang to her, since most of us know her through our community chorus.

“The movie still holds up,” Cathy said on the way out.

It really does.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s time, ladies. Thelma and Louise was a radical script for 1991.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

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