Director: Herbert Ross
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore, Matthew McConaughey, James Remar
Released February 3, 1995
Spoilers for a 20 year old movie...just in cases!
This movie came out when I was in middle school and I remember seeing it in the theater with my mom. While I remember that, I didn't remember anything about the movie except the singalong to "You've Got It". And that Mary-Louise Parker's character dies at the end. Well, she was still alive at the end, but it was implied she died although for some reason, I remember a funeral scene. It's funny what your mind chooses to remember and what not to remember. Other than that, I didn't remember anything so I decided to see it again. I didn't even look at the rating on the DVD cover because I just assumed it was PG-13. Nope, it's an R. I was shocked that my mom let me see this movie as a young middle schooler! There is language in this movie that would make even Nancy Botwin blush!
This movie reminded me a bit of Steel Magnolias (a group of women with a friendship and one of them is dying and one of them has a baby....luckily it's never been the same woman!) and then I realized it's directed by the same director, so there you go. This movie reminded me of a cross between that one and Thelma and Louise since the group of women are on a road trip. (And Whoopi Goldberg even makes a crack about how she's not driving over a cliff for the others).
Jane (Goldberg) is a lounge singer in New York who has broken up with her girlfriend and has been fired from her job so she is looking to start over somewhere. She meets Robin (Parker) who has placed an ad in the paper that she is looking for someone to accompany her on a trip to California. I can tell you one thing, there is no way I would ever let a stranger join me on a road trip. That could end up either being very dangerous...or very irritating! But both women agree on taking the trip together and drive to Pittsburgh so Jane can see her friend, Holly (Barrymore). While traveling, we see the first glimpses of Robin acting odd. They have to stop at a fast food place because Robin gets sick. She tells Jane it's just allergies, but I knew (or thought I knew!) she had cancer. Well, no, I was wrong. I THOUGHT she had cancer because I guess that's what I remembered, but no, she has AIDS. Because this was 1995 and AIDS was all the rage in the '90s! It was kind of weird she had AIDS because she was this very uptight woman...she didn't look like the type to use drugs of have unprotected sex. I guess they just wanted to show us anybody could get AIDS? I don't even know how she got them.
|Hey, hey, hey, it's McConaughey!|
When they pick up Holly, her abusive and drunk boyfriend is with her and won't let her go until he gets his drug money that he thinks she's stolen. Holly hits him with a baseball bat and the women tie him up. While they are gone, he tries to get to a phone, but ends up falling and hitting his head and dies. When they see this in the paper, the other two convince Holly to join them because she can't go back. She reveals to the others that she is pregnant. They make it to Tuscon before they have to settle there because Robin has gotten really sick and needs medical care. I believe this is when Jane and Holly (and the audience) finds out that Robin has AIDS.
Holly starts seeing an old friend, a young cop played by a young and pre-famous Matthew McConaughey (who, ironically won an Oscar for portraying a man with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. It's like the circle of life, film style!) He finds out about her dead boyfriend and is torn between his feelings for her and obeying the law as his duties as a cop. Even though Holly goes to court and serves a short sentence, they end up married. Oh, and she names her daughter Mary Todd because McConaughey's name is Abe. :::GROAN::::
Jane and Robin live in a house together with Holly and Abe until they have a fight and Jane moves out. While at a bar, they meet some people and one of them is a guy (Remar) who appears to be interested in Robin and Jane tells him that she has AIDS just so he already knows and Robin doesn't have to worry about having that awkward conversation so Jane thinks she's doing Robin a favor. One night, Robin and the guy get really drunk and pretty much start having sex outside right in the open. I mean, really! They do make it to a hotel room before clothes start coming off, but when Robin is about to tell him about her condition, he tells her he already knows and that he has come protected. I can understand why Robin was so upset, but at the same time, shouldn't she be relieved that at least he already knows and seems to be okay with it? (Obviously as he has his hands all over her). It doesn't surprise me that this guy was willing to have sex with her because he seemed like he would do it with anyone...he even makes a comment earlier in the movie about how hot the bar owner's 12 year old daughter is. It was really creepy.
Robin finds out Jane told him about her AIDS and that's why they have a fight and Jane moves out. When Robin's mother comes to visit, she is aghast when she learns that a lesbian (and a black one to boot!) has been living with her daughter! She should meet Keira Knightley's mother from Bend it Like Beckham!
Like I mentioned earlier, the only scene I really remember is when Jane and Robin sing "You've Got It" to each other in a room full of people. It's a very sweet moment and got me choked up.
This movie came out twenty years ago nearly to the day...and did you know that Drew Barrymore turns 40 this month? She was a very young 19 when she was in this movie and yet it seems like she had already been around forever!