THELMA & LOUISE is the latest in the new genre of "female buddy movies." The movie is pretty strong, the acting is quite wonderful and I recommend it.
Thelma (Geena Davis) is a repressed housewife, and Louise (Susan Sarandon) is a more-worldly waitress who decide to go fishing one weekend. The chemistry between these women is terrific from the beginning as they take a silly picture of one another as they jump in the car, Louise's '65 Mustang convertible.
Thelma, sick to death of her dorky husband, suggests they stop for a drink, and they stop at a divey bar with loads of CW music and loads of pseudo-cowboys. One of them, Harlan, takes notice of Thelma, dances with her as she gets drunk, then takes her out to the parking lot to "not hurt her" as Thelma protests in drunken and fruitless ways. But Louise comes to the rescue, threatens Harlan with a gun, and winds up shooting him when he mouths off to her one time too many. (A pity Louise was rather drunk at the time ... she could have shot him in a more appropriate location!)
The movie really picks up from here, as Thelma and Louise try to stay several steps in front of the law. The men are not all cookie-cutter creeps, like Harlan and Daryl (Thelma's husband). Louise's boyfriend Jimmy is alternately sweet and considerate, yet violent at times. Slocum, the man sent to investigate Harlan's murder, is fascinated by the women, because everyone who has seen the women insist they aren't the murdering kind. Thelma blossoms in the course of the movie, becoming someone who won't take shit from anyone. And all Louise can see is getting to Mexico, while avoiding Texas...
The photography is pretty good, and there's a neat sequence of driving through the New Mexico desert at night, the world quiet and dark except for the car lights flashing off the rock formations.
I rate this movie as either a 7 or 8 on the movie scale. Go see it!
A few words on the ending. Yep, there are spoilers.
I have mixed feelings on the ending. On the one hand, even trying to talk to the cops would have been pointless. On the other hand, driving into the canyon rather than compromising somewhere seemed overly strong. I agree with an earlier poster who observed that showing some earlier scenes from their escapades was an attempt to soften the ending, and wasn't appropriate.