Bad Girls

Four prostitutes (Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Drew Barrymore and Andie MacDowell) go on the run after killing an assailant in this 1994 Western AKA Thelma and Louisiana.

Bad Girls rounds up an appealing cast for this female twist on the genre but saddles them with bland, samey characters and a desert-dry story better told by films like Revenge or Thelma and Louise. It’s no more a feminist Western than Breaking Bad, lumbering our heroes with flirting or stripping as their only courses of action (and that’s when they’re not being rescued by male characters, most notably Gavin from Friends).

The Accused director Jonathan Kaplan (not to be confused with Bryan Singer) handles the film’s sexual assaults with all the tact of a rodeo clown, and pads out the paper-thin plot with women getting undressed (presumably to placate the boyfriends who’ve been dragged away from an evening in front of Space Ghost Coast to Coast). This is the cinema of Girl Power, a superficial appropriation of feminism by marketing departments (see also Wonder Woman).

There’s also what you might call a credibility GAP, as the supposedly destitute protagonists never look anything other than perfectly presented models with an apparently inexhaustible supply of fineries. And if you’re looking for ’90s actresses on horses in an array of different hats, these girls aren’t bad at all. It should be called Bad Everything Else.


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