You have only to listen to Robbins' words on the soundtrack to know that what is unfolding on the screen can't catch what he saw.
"Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" is Gus Van Sant's vision of Tom Robbins' counterculture classic. Set to a terrific score by k.d. lang and Ben Mink, the director and some good performers labor mightily to capture Robbins' freewheeling version of the 70s. The problem lies right there. It happens sometimes that a writer can catch the essence of a time in a way that forbids further tinkering. You have only to listen to Robbins' words on the soundtrack to know that what is unfolding on the screen can't catch what he saw. Credit Uma Thurman as Sissy Hankshaw, the all-thumbs symbolic hitchhiker, Rain Phoenix as Bonanza Jellybean, her lover, and John Heard for his energy as "The Countess." And, two decades later, a salute to Robbins for creating The Rubber Rose Ranch and peopling it with characters of its time who defy the camera.
Film Critic: JOAN ELLIS
Word Count: 146
Copyright (c) Illusion
Return to Ellis Home Page