Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Absurd Comedy, Feminist Film, Road Movie  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jason Clark

Every bit as terrible as its reputation, this unbelievably dull effort from the usually innovative Gus Van Sant flounders in a daze from its opening moments, then takes the viewer straight to Nowheresville. A lousy idea to begin with (Tom Robbins' novel is practically unfilmable), the film is further hampered by an incoherent screenplay and edits that point to serious recutting, none of which helped. Uma Thurman tries hard to make sense of her maddeningly underdeveloped lead role, but Cowgirls does the actress no favors, and the endless parade of familiar faces that pop up here and there only seems to compound its desperation. The film's one saving grace is k.d. lang's evocative score, which suggests a far richer film than this gargantuan mess. Van Sant reportedly trimmed Cowgirls after its disastrous Toronto Film Festival reception in 1993, and it wasn't seen until the following summer, where it laid an egg in theaters.