Study Guide

Thelma & Louise Friendship

Friendship

Thelma and Louise. The title is enough to clue us in that this movie is going to center on the friendship between two people. What happens to these women's' relationship once they step into that '66 Thunderbird is unprecedented in films prior…which is a fancy way of saying no one in 1991 knew what was coming when those curtains opened. Films that center on friendship—especially female friendship in which boy troubles take the sideline—are a rare treat even today.

How does trauma affect a friendship? Will Louise always be the one taking charge and protecting Thelma, or will their roles reverse over time? Read on to find out. All we're going to say for now, in the words of Carly Rae Jepsen, is that some ladies have "worse problems."

Questions About Friendship

  1. What roles do Thelma and Louise take on in their friendship, and how do these roles shift over time? What does this say about friendship in general?
  2. If romance and marital relationships take a backseat in this film, what roles do the husbands and love interests play? How do Darryl, Jimmy, and J. D. develop the characters of Thelma and Louise?
  3. What are the biggest tests of Thelma and Louise's friendship? How do they overcome these tests?
  4. Why do you think romantic relationships get more airtime in films than friendships in our society? What does this say about us?

Chew on This

Thelma and Louise both experience more intimacy and loyalty in their friendship than they do in their romantic relationships. They ultimately find their romantic relationships dissatisfying because of the roles they are expected to fulfill as women.

The healthiest friendship happens on a level playing ground where both people are equally capable of supporting the other.

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