The Unloved, Part 116: It’s My Turn

Molly Haskell wrote of the 1978 Claudia Weill movie “Girlfriends,” one of my favorite films of all time: “We’re currently living in a time that, at least by comparison, seems like a golden age of gal-pal movies and TV, but we should remember just how much rarer such cultural products once were. Before ‘Thelma & Louise’ came along in 1991, the buddies in conventional buddy films were invariably male. Women were still commonly thought to be congenital rivals, incapable of bonding, as the narrative space that they were given (getting a guy, basically) was so restricted. But, working outside the constraints of such systematized storytelling, Weill recognized and captured the ways in which women’s friendships were both similar to and different from love affairs, yet certainly every bit as complex—and probably more so.”

She’s right about all of it. But it’s depressing how revisiting Weill’s second and last theatrical feature, “It's My Turn,” feels less like a preview of what was to come and more like an epitaph for Weill’s brand of cinematic storytelling and behavior. Yes, there have been great movies about women just being themselves, but they still feel like anomalies; they still feel like something that escaped in the dead of night rather than an impulse nourished by producers and the wider culture. And so we’re taking a look backward and hope that it can continue to be a beacon while looking forward. 

To watch more of Scout Tafoya’s video essays from his series The Unloved, click here.