Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993) Poster

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2/10
When Gay-Friendly Film Making Goes Horribly Wrong
Dan1863Sickles27 December 2005
I read Tom Robbins' EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES as a teenager. I loved every word. It was sexy, funny, and full of glamorous scenery and beautiful writing. But when I saw the movie, I could not believe what a dull, sour, joyless piece of junk it was. How did this happen? I think someone in Hollywood read this book and filed it under "GAY PRIDE -- WOMEN -- LESBIANS." (That's the Library of Congress subject heading.) Now anyone over 12 who reads the book will know it has NOTHING TO DO with real lesbians, any more than STAR WARS is about real space travel. The book was obviously -- and I do mean OBVIOUSLY --written by a heterosexual male who loves the IDEA of lesbians (in the nude, all the time)but has never really met one.

Still, someone in Hollywood said, "uh oh, better give this to a Gay director or Gay People will make trouble." So they handed it to Gus Van Sant. Nothing against the man, but -- however Gay he may really be -- he has not a clue as to how to make a funny film. Gus Van Sant took a straight man's playful fantasy of guilt-free girl/girl action and male voyeurism turned it into a dull, literal-minded Lesbian Power Recruiting Poster. It's like turning an Oscar Wilde comedy into an Arthur Miller tragedy. Not pretty.

The main clue that Gus Van Sant had absolutely no idea what to do with the source material is the riotously bad casting. His clout allowed him to hire the very best. His ignorance of the novel's real subtext (a straight man's fantasy, not a gay pride recruiting poster)caused him to make choices that were not only bad, but bizarre.

Let's meet the cast of EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES.

PAT MORITA as "THE CHINK" Okay, there are few name-recognition Asian actors. And Pat Morita, in HAPPY DAYS, was fairly funny. But casting him as THE CHINK was wrong, wrong, wrong. Pat Morita has no idea that the Chink is a very funny man. (Gus didn't tell him.) Pat also doesn't seem to know that the Chink is . . . well, SEXY!!! In the book he's not wise old Mr. Miyagi. He's more like Hugh Hefner! He's a randy old goat and he knows A LOT about pleasing the nubile and responsive Sissy AND Bonanza Jellybean. (You see, in the book, they aren't REALLY lesbians. Do you get that this is a straight man's fantasy yet?)

JOHN HURT as "THE COUNTESS." Okay, he's a gay friendly man. But he is a SERIOUS, SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR!!!! You need someone who is fun, and camp, for this role. For John Hurt to be cast as a goofy guy like the Countess is tragic and sad. I kept expecting Paul Scofield to wander in all dressed up as Thomas More, and sadly shake his head. "Now, Richard, you know you've lost your soul entirely. For shame, my former student!" And yes, John Hurt was funny (and pretty gay) as Caligula. But that was BLACK humor, not playful and breezy humor like the book.

RAIN PHOENIX as "Bonanza Jellybean." No talent, no training, no problem. Except that in the book Bonanza is funny, playful, cheerful, (mostly) heterosexual, and loving. In the movie she's sullen, passive, expressionless, and dull. As for her taste for women, Robbins in the book puts it like this. "God knows I love women, but nothing can take the place of a man that fits." Uh, Gus? Did you read this book?

UMA THURMAN as "Sissy Hankshaw." This is a tough role. In the book Sissy really is an unusually passive and timid heroine. Still, a more accomplished actress might have manufactured a twinkle in her eye, or a sway in her walk, to imply some sort of hidden strength or hidden enjoyment of her adventures. Uma doesn't pull it off, probably because Gus never told her Sissy is supposed to ENJOY being a hitch hiker with a beautiful body and giant thumbs. Uma plays it more like she's in a TV movie about a girl dying of leukemia.

This movie is sour and dull. And I accuse YOU, Gus Van Sant!
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5/10
If you think the movie is weird...
Son_of_Mansfield5 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
you should read the book. I wouldn't call it unfilmable, but it's certainly not a James Patterson or an Ira Levin novel. A girl born with large thumbs becomes a hitchhiker, a model, and a lobbyist for whopping cranes with her lover Bananza Jellybean. I love this book. The movie is not as bad as you may have heard. Uma Thurman is perfectly cast. She is just quirky enough to pull off the thumbs and obviously good looking enough to be a model. The rest of the cast is woefully miscast, mostly due to being too old for the parts, such as Lorraine Bracco and Pat Moriata. But the thing that really drags the movie down is that the spirit is missing. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was written in the sixties, the time of free love, and man is the love free in the book. There is too much fear now to make a movie like that. Also, there were different ideals about psychiatry, philosophy, and freedom. It's a true product of it's time and could be filmed by someone with guts. Until then, I can always read the book again...
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8/10
Unconventional and entertaining film
Olya Ivanova12 August 2012
Wow, I can't believe that the average rating for this movie is a 4! At first I thought it was rated by closed minded mainstreamers who enjoy The Avengers or Fast and Furious, but after reading the reviews I realized that most of the bad ratings come from the people who read the original novel the movie was based on, and I can totally understand where those people come from. But as a person who has not read the book and just accidentally stumbled upon this film, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It was strange, surprising, sexual. It kept me tuned till the end and although the original plot may have been truncated and the details emboldened by the pace of the film, I definitely don't think it deserves a 4. As a new viewer to this story, I was left with a feeling of being entertained.
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1/10
Disappointment for Tom Robbins fans
Lauren Bruce5 July 2005
I absolutely love all of Tom Robbins books, so I was very excited and interested to see a movie made after one of his books. I knew that there would be no way that the movie would capture even half of Robbins' magic, but after seeing the movie, it made me never want to read the book again. The movie Even Cowgirls Get the Blues doesn't include an eighth of the content in the book, and it seems to focus more on the love connection between Bonanza Jellybean and Sissy than anything else. Along with the incredibly weak plot line in the movie, I think that better actors definitely could have been chosen to play the characters. The only actors in the movie that I thought played their roles fit to Robbins' descriptions in the book were Julian's friends, in their five minute clip in the beginning of the movie. Those who haven't read the book might enjoy the movie, but as a huge Tom Robbins fan, this movie was nothing but a disappointment.
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5/10
Sorry. No Spoiler.
artzau5 June 2001
I've loved reading the comments about this film. In fact, some of them are even more zanier than Robbins, and that's going some. Look. If you're going to read a book by Tom Robbins, you know it's going to be goofy. Tom Robbins does goofy. OK. Now, if you're gonna see a movie about a Robbins book with Robbins input, what do you expect? Right. Goofy. So, what's the big deal? If you want Disney, go see some Bambi reruns. If you're gonna see Robbins, better read a few of his books first. I personally like Robbins's books. I howled my way through Jitterbug Perfume. And, being married to a Redhead, I loved Still Life with Woodpecker...OK. Now, what's this film about? Read the book. If you want to see Uma, Rain and all the gang, rent the video but don't expect Disney. You ain't gonna get it. Obviously, most of the other reviewers didn't either. Look. A movie can't pull the same things off that a book can, and vice versa. Robbins's books have a style that would seem very difficult to capture on film. If anything, this film proves that. Does it (i.e., the film) work? Is it a viable form beyond the book? Does it fly on its own merit? Can't say. YOU watch it and decide. I found many, many flaws in this film but also enjoyed much of it. So, friends, check it out for yourselves...but, I'd strongly advise, reading some Robbins before you do. It will save the shock later.
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2/10
You'll get the blues, all right....
moonspinner556 September 2005
Uma Thurman plays Sissy, a young woman with a gypsy spirit (and freakishly large thumbs) who hitchhikes cross-country, eventually finding her true place amongst a group of peyote-enlightened cowgirls on a ranch devoted to preserving the Whooping Crane; Rain(bow) Phoenix is their lesbian leader, Bonanza Jellybean, who falls in love with Sissy, thumbs or not. Gus Van Sant directed and adapted Tom Robbins' book, but his satire has no primary target and just skitters all over the map, like Sissy (maybe that was his goal, but it's not involving for an audience). Notorious box-office flop wasn't so much panned as it was ignored, and one can see why: it's a series of sketches in search of a plot, and the performances, directorial touches and cinematography are all variable. Thurman is a stitch posing alongside the highway trying to get a ride, but this pretty much put the kibosh on Phoenix's career. Writer Buck Henry (who didn't write this, but perhaps should have) gives the most assured performance as the doctor who works on one of those thumbs.

Two thumbs down.
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7/10
4.0??? No way...
Breno Bacci8 May 2005
I could not agree less with the rating that was given to this movie, and I believe this is a sample of how short minded most of spectators are all over the world. Really... Are you forgetting that Cinema used to be a kind of art before some tycoons tried to make it only entertainment? This movie is not entertainment, at least not that easy entertainment you get on movies like Titanic or Gladiator. It has style, it is different, it is shocking... That's why most of you have hated it so much: because it does not try to be pleasing to you. It's just a story, a very weird one I admit, but after all, only a weird story. It is not a great story, not even a great cinema work, but I believe it is worth a 7-stars rating only for the courage of both author and director to shot a story that is not made to please the audience, thus selling billions of copies and making the big studios even richer. This movie is, for me, European-artistic-like movie made in the US, and everyone involved in the making of it deserves respect. Be it for the courage, or be it for the unique sense of humor.
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1/10
Godawful
Mark (m_a_singer)19 March 2005
We actually watched this twice in the theater because we could not believe how bad it was the first time. Maybe we'd missed something... nope, what's missing was missed from the beginning of preproduction. I actually went back to Robbin's novel to see if I could find the problem, and I discovered that what I thought was funny and exciting back in the day is now just so much disconnected and fuzzy-headed junk.

So, the initial problem with the film was deciding to do it at all, and the rest of the train wreck progressed from there. Absolutely nothing works - not a blessed thing. Some beautiful exterior photography gets steamrolled by random camera placement in interior shots. All of the actors look at least uncomfortable - Angie Dickenson looks positively mortified - except for Rain Phoenix, who gives the impression that she is too unaware to realize how awful her performance really is. The dialog is one, long, unwavering cringe. Scenes don't make sense from second to second, and the connections between them are nonexistent. And yet, the movie stumbles blindly on, convinced that it is saying something profound.

This is too bad to even be funny; it is simply excruciating. Gus Van Zant has done other good-to-great movies which I encourage you to see, and I'm happy he survived (and appears to have learned from) this mess.
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Even Good Directors Get The Blues
Rob Crespino18 December 2004
Gus Van Sant has directed some truly brilliant films. His directorial credits include "My Own Private Idaho," "To Die For," "Drugstore Cowboy," and, most recently, the audacious and thought-provoking allegory of school violence, "Elephant." He also was the executive producer of the infamous, eye-opening "Kids." However, his reputation took a tumble with the needless, colorized shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," with Vince Vaughn standing in for Anthony Perkins! However, "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" goes down in history as one of the most witless, undramatic, incoherent, dumbest, laziest, and plot less films ever to be released upon the public. The counter-culture novel by Tom Robbins is 100% trashed here. The novel shouldn't have been filmed at such a late date anyway. Or, perhaps, it shouldn't have been filmed at all.

Uma Thurman stars as Sissy Hankshaw, who somehow is a professional hitch-hiker (remember the book is set in the 60's; the movie makes no attempt to let us know exactly what time period this is supposed to be) who manages to get easy rides by sticking out her bulging, grossly large thumb. Yeah, that pulls the guys over every time.

Sissy meets up with an insane slew of Hollywood stars who seem to be doing a special favor for Van Sandt. Meandering around are Roseanne Barr, John Hurt, Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Carol Kane, and...are you ready...Angie Dickinson! For unknown reasons, Sissy hitches a ride to a "feminist ranch" that pampers spa services to rich women. For further unknown reasons, there's a gaggle of "cowgirls" living and working on the ranch, led by Rain Phoenix as "Bonanza Jellybean." What results is nothing...nothing at all. There is not even the slightest story to speak of. The film seems to have been edited with duct tape. Van Sandt reportedly re-edited this film furiously after it was "booed" off of the screen at various premieres. I would love to see what he cut out. He would have been better off just completely scrapping this project.

But Van Sant is all forgiven for this travesty. He has gone on to prove himself as a solid director/producer. "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" is probably the only Gus Van Sant film that you can get for $2.00 out of a bargain bin at Family Dollar.
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6/10
Crispin Glover Makes the Movie
csharrock20 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After reading all the comments on this film I guess I was expecting on par with plan 9 from outer space or something. Perhaps it was my low expectations going into it but I actually found the quirky style to be quite intriguing and quite funny. I mean what isn't funny about lesbian cowgirls taking over a ranch using nothing but their unwashed reproductive organs. And the Chink? Hilarious - some crazy guy that lives in the mountains and dances to polka? I must admit the only reason I watched this movie was to fulfill a personal goal of mine: seeing every Crispin Hellion Glover movie. Who I might add delivered his usual awesome performance. But overall I enjoyed the movie. I probably wouldn't recommend it to everyone but for fans of movies like "the pickle" "the killer tongue" "fast sofa" or "Naked Lunch" I would say check it out. hey for what its worth it was better than the psycho remake. That my friends was a slap in the face.
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7/10
Another case of the book being much much better
drewp7511 March 2006
Gus Van Sant has made some excellent films. I truly am a fan.

However, I can't help but feel that the cerebral edge of Tom Robbins book "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" is lost in translation to the big screen. Alone, Tom Robbins and Gus Van Sant are incredible visionaries and towers of talent. Ultimately though this one just didn't work.

It wasn't that the characters weren't well developed or the plot and content didn't come alive. It's just that our imaginations are much more powerful when reading a book like this. We're taken away to a different time and place and we sometimes think the worst and/or the best and it adds to the overall roller-coaster of the book as it neatly unfolds according to the author's precision. Movies however can leave one with less of the imagination and emotion roller-coaster detracting from the overall experience. This is what I believe happened here.

I suggest reading the book!
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a little unsatisfying, but good
TeaBunny24 January 1999
I liked this movie more than the other previous users here... I liked the character of Sissy, I like movies about girls who go their own way, whether they be Good Girls or Bad Girls. And I like road trip movies that travel around a lot. I have never read the book, so I don't know how close the movie is to the story or characters. The acting was a bit stilted at times, and the story left me a little empty, but for the most part I liked it, the whole freedom and traveling and feminism thing really fascinates me, I guess that's what drew me into it.
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10/10
why is t he world so cruel
mysticaldragon164 November 2006
This was an excellent film. I don't understand why so many people don't like it. There was so much in it to connect with, so many beautiful images, and so much compassion in the things that weren't said. I was thoroughly entertained, and was left with a feeling of joyous exuberance, just as I am when I finish most any Tom Robbins story. Now I haven't read this particular book of Robbin's, so I don't now how this matched up, but I can't imagine this movie could have been a very bad interpretation. The movie left a lot for you to define yourself, which is the best part of any Tom Robbins novel, dreaming up the details.

To all of you who said this was the worst movie ever, I pity what little must be left of the dimming light in your hearts. Far from the worst ever this movie was glorious. Long live the whooping crane.
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…and you Right-Wingers thought that "Harold and Maude" was odd…
JoElin17 October 1999
If you think that being a model for a female hygiene company owned by a man who says the hardest thing about his childhood was being born a female Russian aristocrat to a strict southern Baptist home is funny, than this film may be for you. Personally, I kind of have a soft spot for it, mainly because I hate movies to be disregarded simply because they're "weird." Uma Thurman gives a good, quiet performance and that old guy from the "Karate Kid" appears. All in all, I thought it was interesting but I would never rent it again.
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10/10
OK name one MOVIE that isn't BAD in one way or another.
Downy19208 November 2004
I feel very sorry for people who go to movies with a pad and pencil to write down flaws and keep notes on how bad a movie is. I feel equally contempt for people who go to movies and CAN'T suspend reality and/or let themselves enjoy 90 minutes aways from their boring or busy lives! Get a GRIP people. ECGTB is a very ENTERTAINING movie. If you take movies seriously, this is NOT for you. If you are expecting the movie to resemble the book in ANY way, this is not for you. But if you enjoyed the utter hilarity of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, or the "what the hell am I watching" of Moulin Rouge. Or the gross out comedy of "The Sweetest Thing" Then let yourself escape to Cowgirls. It has some really funny parts. Hilarious actually. It also has some really good music;kudos to kd.lang. Also did I mention it has 90 minutes of Uma Thurman.....need I say more?
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7/10
Worst movie of all time??? What sheltered movie-watching lives you must lead
mdugan-35 March 2008
Worst movie of all time? Wow, whoa now. You cannot be serious.

Maybe it's all about what you expect a movie to do to you. I live in Oregon, so I got to enjoy the beautifully-filmed shots of familiar yet still amazingly beautiful Smith Rocks and other areas in Central Oregon (as well as the sweet cameo of our own Ken Kesey and Ken Babbs looking down on baby Sissy's cradle at the beginning of the movie). Those alone were enough to spur me to give the movie a better than "average" score.

Or .... Maybe it's all about what expectations you have. Having read the book AGES ago, and thinking to myself "goodness, no one could ever make a movie out of this interesting, quirky, weird book ... especially 20 years later, when mores (MORAYS -- can't put in the accent mark online) have changed" -- I was actually quite pleasantly surprised when I first watched the movie when it came out in 1994 and even liked it more today watching it again.

Sissy was exquisitely cast, and I don't care what you all say, I was also pleasantly surprised at Rain Phoenix's and John Hurt's performances. I am not a lesbian nor bi nor trans, but have met many folks who are similar to the folks they were supposed to portray -- and those "real" folks kinda acted the same way as these actors acted. Stilted a bit, stage-ey -- always a bit "on." Gus Van Sant is one weird native Oregonian but by garsh he done a good job adapting this crazy book, IMHO.
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10/10
absolutely recommended to open minded people
mwjjsksors2 November 2006
i saw this movie the first seconds the voice of T.R. took me on to the journey - well i disliked the big glued thumbs in the beginning, but the absurd humor it and the gordious looks of both sissy actors - i do not know who played the young her - but she was great and so was uma!!! -

the two other people who where in the cinema went out after about half an hour, i was with a friend - and it is always a test to watch a movie i like good with one of my friends - and, we both enjoyed it too the maximum - hilarious laughs - sadness about the "realistic police- normalos" . both of us fans of T.Robbins books...i found it well done - thought, that Robbins would also approve, though i do not have an idea if he likes the film or not...

i would love to see the cut out stuff - i heard that gus v. sand had to take out lots of scenes because of the first-time viewers (or the producers???) well still it is an artistic movie. much too short though... it is one of my all time favorites - and i am aware of it that the majority of people can't stand that kind of movie and assume that people who enjoy that films are whatever they think .......what a pity. hopefully there will come the day that there will be a DVD with the full material - hoping to see more of crispian, keanu - expecting to see her baby and all

if you have the chance to see it, think twice, and enjoy it if you made the choice to watch ... m
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8/10
Decent Movie Version of a Tough Book to translate to screen.
mickeydl29 January 2007
If you have ever read and enjoyed a novel by Tom Robbins you will appreciate this movie as a whole-hearted attempt to translate his outrageously unconventional writing style into a workable piece of big screen art. The actors and the direction of this film are both good.

The only trouble with the film, as I can see it, is that Robbins can relate ideas and sentiments with his words that were still beyond Hollywood's capabilities at the time this film was shot.

Given both the irreverence of today's movies, as well as the willingness and abilityof today's audiences to delve into the bizarre, I think "Even Cowgirls... would receive a better reception today than it did when it was originally released.
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Poor
Michael_Elliott14 March 2008
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)

* (out of 4)

Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) had a bad joke played on her when she was born and that is the fact she was born with two huge thumbs. Her parents feared she'd never get married or amount to anything in life but one day her father makes a joke that she'd make a good hitchhiker. Sissy takes that advice and heads off in the world thumbing a ride to wherever she can get. As a teenager Sissy finds a modeling job in NYC for feminine hygiene advertisement, which claims she smells as good as she looks.

After being the champ of feminine hygiene for five years running, Sissy finds herself back on the road traveling across the country. She eventually gets a phone call from the drag queen known as The Countess (John Hurt) who has managed to get her a new job up in Oregon.

This job is working on a ranch, which has been taken over by a group of cowgirls who seem to be fighting exploitation. With Sissy there, the girls have a new fighter as well as possible lover.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is based on a novel from Tom Robbins, which I haven't read.

Perhaps had I read it I would have understood what this film was trying to say or trying to be about but as it is, I really have no idea. My only guess is that director Gun Van Sant was trying to recapture the exploitation films of the 1970's like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls but he fails miserably here and makes a film that's a bigger disgrace than his future remake of Psycho.

The biggest joke running throughout the film is the stuff dealing with feminine hygiene and the fact that Sissy smells better than any other woman around. This stuff here is simply unfunny and I'm sure many would be offended by this humor. Since it's doesn't work and manages to be somewhat offensive I've got to wonder who this humor was meant to entertain. The other big joke is the huge thumbs, which lead to various dialogue scenes dealing with the joys of hitchhiking but once again, who in the world is suppose to find that entertaining? I've always enjoyed watching Uma Thurman because she's one of the most enlightening actresses out there. She can certainly handle comedy, which was proved in Mad Dog and Glory but it's clear she has no idea what to do with the material given to her. There's not a single moment in the film where I believed this was a real character and instead of any insight we are given two fake looking props to tell her story. What attracted her to this project is anyone's guess but what's even worse is the fact that the director got an all-star cast to appear in the film. Lorraine Bracco, Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Angie Dickinson, Sean Young, Heather Graham and Roseanne are among the many familiar faces and none of them bring anything to their roles. My only guess is that these folks forgot to read the script and just thought the idea of being in a cameo would be cool.

I remember watching this film opening day in Louisville, KY where the theater was fairly packed Before the movie opened you could tell there was a loud buzz about the film due to the director's previous films, which included Drugstore Cowboy. As soon as the film started you could feel that entire buzz leave the theater and for the next two hours there was a complete silence that was rather haunting. No one was fascinated by what they were seeing but instead every single person was in a state of shock. Was this film some kind of job? Did Van Sant make a bad film on purpose? That's my only guess because there's nothing going good for this turkey, which would give anyone the blues.
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10/10
The more I watch it the more I like it.
Ty-221 January 2000
I admit, the first time I watched Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, I didn't think it was very memorable in any regard. But now after viewing it the 7th time, I admit that it has very much grown on me. The characters of Sissy, Ms. Jellybean, and the Countess have become very endearing. And the romance between Sissy and Jellybean seems very sweet. Though the plot is very weak, I think the satirical humor more than makes up for it. Then there's the kick-ass soundtrack which features the tremendously talented K.D. Lang (who reminds me a little of Patsy Cline) at her best. I can't think of any movie that has "grown on me" after an inauspicious first impression, as much as Cowgirls has.
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crap on a stick. crap on toast. crap plus crap.
xairhil26 April 2003
i love this book. i think it may be my favorite among the robbins books ive read. but shit -oh-goodness, that movie was total crap. i have to tell anyone reading this review... i stopped midway through. i just plain couldnt take it. anyways, in an effort to clarify why it was so crappy, lets start at the beginning: Uma. uma dear, the character's personality does not rely on her accent. and perhaps this is my personal interpretation of the book, but you seem a bit weak-hearted for sissy; sissy in my mind had a reverberating presence. shes not rough-and-tough like bonanza, but is instead a pleasant mix of curiosity, fertility, wisdom and ignorance; everythign a strong robbins female lead should turn out to be. i simply didnt get the impression that you did justice to the depths of her personality... nor did the other actors to their respective roles, really... and a comment on casting: the sallow-faced, sunken-eyed, limp-haired uma did not fit at all with the pink-cheeked, sparkle-eyed, wind-tossed hair sissy that mr robbins seemed to convey. it dampens sissys chacterization even more. i know having a big name as a lead helps it get seen, but um. come on. put some spunk in her.

Next: rain phoenix, where the heck is your zing!? you *cant* be bonanza and *not* have an unquenchable thirst for life, excitement, and dare! it felt like you were on pot or prozac. get INto it. this would be an inCREDibly fun role to play, but youve GOT to have fun. bonanza *knows* things; shes a step or two down from the chink, but occasionally shes somewhere on his level, and you need to recognize that. she has a thirst for life because shes smart enough to do so; she PLAYS GAMES with life because, well, why the heck not? Third: delores: wheres the badass from the beginning? right away you let out the coke-fiendish interp. of this gal, and thats not how robbins set it up. get that badass up front; we are not supposed to know you right off the bat. you need to gradually reveal yourself, not right from the start. delores is full of mystery and black clouds; her whip is like a tantalizing c'mere-and-figgure-me-out cat's (or snake's) tail or something. yes, you do convey parts of delores' personality we learn of later in the book, but slow down girl. Fourth: the rest of you guys. i guess the chink was okay, but not as vulgar as he should be. i know intruducing vulgarity into the movie would *really* screw with the minds of the masses coming to see uma, and eh, itd probably scare em a bit. but um. wouldnt that be kindof fun? :) anyways, one constant theme through mr robbins' books is that sex is HUMAN, and GOOD, and ohhhh. yum. (this is more to the director...) you give us a few scenes, but you cut things out (julian? husband? hello?) or shorten them (scene with the couple in julians apt) or hide them (the chink looking on the girls making out from afar rather than from their own eyes). i know you dont want it to cross into the realm of pornography, but well. sheesh. to the director: dangit man. try again. and not a movie, maybe a television series or something. maybe just a series, screw the tv crap. but to make this movie successful, you really do need almost all of the substance of the book to shine forth. you cant take things out ad-hock... im sure it wasnt all that random, but the deletions you made did seem inappropriate; the lack of important information created a throughly disjointed feel. if you wanted to make a movie out of a robbins book, you probably really liked the book, and probably had a really good idea of what each character seemed to be. well, fer cripes sake, stick to yer guns. find people who you know fit the roles; encourage them to READ THE BOOK... infact, make it mandatory... maybe read it with the cast like it was an english class, so you get class discussions and debates going back and forth. it should be a learning experience and rocking fun time for the actors, the crew, and the director... and it *should* be somethin similar for the viewers too. thats my two cents.
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1/10
And the point is...
CareALotsClouds27 January 2002
I watched this film because I'm a big fan of River Phoenix and Joaquin Phoenix. I thought I would give their sister a try, Rain Phoenix. I regret checking it out. She was embarrasing and the film just has this weird plot if thats what you want to call it. Sissy was just weird and Jellybean just sits on a toilet who both sleep with this old man in the mountains, whats going on? I have never been so unsatisfied in my life. It was just total rubbish. I can't believe that the actors agreed to do such a waste of film, money, time and space. Have Sissy being 'beautiful' didnt get to me. I thought she was everything but that. Those thumbs were just stupid, and why do we care if she can hitchhike? WHATS THE POINT??? 0 out of 10, shame the poll doesnt have a 0, doesnt even deserve a 1. Hopefully, Rain is better in other films, I forgive her for this one performance, I mean I wouldnt do much better with that film.
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Don't throw the baby out with the bath water...
Eric-122613 January 2003
This movie is quite weird, to be sure, but I found it was actually worth sticking it through and pondering it all. I even watched it three times - maybe perhaps driven by the same compulsion that makes it hard for one to take their eyes off a train wreck, but still...

In a way this movie is for the Mondo Caine, David Lynch, John Waters et al crowd - for folks who want to see really odd stuff in the guise of a movie. But there's a lot going on in this film. Here you have such varied things as rowdy dude-ranch cowgirls who stage a mass revolt against the ranch's owner by collectively exposing their (we are lead to assume) unwashed vaginal areas. (I pity the poor people who saw this film in Surround-sound smell-a-vision equipped theaters). What else? Well, you've got Uma Thurman, gyrating along the side of the road in an attempt to hitch a ride from any passing vehicle - she does an attention-grabbing motion that's somewhere between a cheerleader and a striptease dancer, but nevertheless quite erotic in its perfection. Then there's Crispin Glover, with a comb-over from hell. Roseanne Arnold as a fortuneteller. Sean Young, and Carol Kane, doing something or other that I still can't figure out. Rain Phoenix as Bonanza Jellybean - THE cowgirl. John Hurt in drag, as "the Countess", with some deliciously bizarre lines. (The one I like best is when he offers the newly arrived in New York Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) a glass of sherry: "Would you fancy some sherry?" (checks his little mini-fridge...) "Oh goodness, I'm all out of sherry. How 'bout some Red Ripple?"). A full-sized computerized robotic mock-up of actor Keanu Reeves - who acts and talks just like Keanu Reeves! (Maybe Keanu can't act, but his robot sure can!!) Buck Henry playing a zany doctor with some truly strange and funny lines. Whip-snapping Lorraine Bracco feeding peyote buttons to migrating whooping cranes. Pat Morita earning a paycheck in the most delightful way. A K.d. lang soundtrack which is truly worth buying and listening to. Snippets of Richard Nixon addressing the nation on radio. Fragments of (almost) forgotten 60's hits ("Ma Belle Amie" by The Tee Set and "A Taste of Honey" by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, for example). Interesting (and beautiful) landscape shots of the Oregon wilderness, and odd freeze-frame segments that make you scratch your head. Tom Robbins doing periodic voiceovers - and he sounds just like Al Gore (and about as inspirational, too...) All this and a lot more, too. Angie Dickinson, for example.

I don't know, it's a weird movie that ultimately gives feminists and lesbians a bad name (and we all know how painful that can be). But it has some images, and lines of dialogue that really make you do a double take (the ones from Ed Begley, Jr. come to mind). I was intrigued enough by the film, though, that I rewound my tape and watched the thing two more times just to get more of the quirky Tom Robbinsesque lines into my head. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a great movie, but it's by no means a bad movie either. It actually is kind of clever and charming in a few spots. Weird but cute, kind of like Ozzie's daughter, eh? So get over your constipation, take a break from the war on terrorism and watch this strange but fun film. You'll love the escapism of it all. Perhaps Pat Morita's character in the film best sums up the ultimate reaction I have to this movie: "Ha ha. Ho ho. Hee hee." Bye bye.
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stupid
beautiful_loser8 February 2001
This movie just don't have any reason of being. While the Tom Robbins` novel is highly entertaining, poetic, feminist, intelligent, philosophical, funny, the movie is boring, nothing is taken seriously. The director adapted the book very faithfully by not making major changes in the plot, but by filming in a very facile and insipid way. Inexorably disappointing .
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10/10
Surreal lesbian iconographic dark comedy
lightsurgery29 June 2001
The film is exceptional in it's gay iconography and extends this beyond the asthetics to the music and cast. Throughout the whole film exists a childlike wonder as seen through the eyes of the main character. Her lighthearted take on the world around us is comical and beautiful. In a way it's a slacker movie for girls. Watch this is you fancy a relaxing entertaining mid-night movie. Buy this if you like diferent takes on the world of media and love combined (?).
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