Study Guide

Thelma & Louise Genre

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Adventure, Crime, Drama

We know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Wait, you mean this isn't a chick flick?" That's right, sweet ducklings, Thelma and Louise belongs to several genres we typically associate with, you got it, men. So why do some think of it as a "girl movie"? Our theory is that most people who think that probably haven't actually seen it.

Thelma and Louise is a film about outlaws. But unlike what we might expect from other crime films, Thelma and Louise has a particular, gendered take on law. How guilty is Louise? we might ask. Despite the fact that we rejoiced when Louise shot that no-good filth canister in the heart, she is still punishable by a legal system that will see her killing of Harlan as more serious than Harlan's attempted rape of Thelma. That's a bit unfair, no?

Yes, Thelma and Louise are running from the law, but they're also running from a legal system they know won't protect them.

The film is funny at times, and it's romantic at times, but it sure ain't a rom-com. In fact, the central relationship is the intense friendship—and tragic end—of two powerful women. Men are the secondary characters here. Romance is merely that extra puff of whipped cream beside the banana split.

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