Writer/director Gus Van Sant's early bid for big-time commercial success -- a success he didn't manage to achieve until Good Will Hunting -- is based on Tom Robbins' 1976 feminist bestseller. Uma Thurman plays Sissy Hankshaw, a woman born with very large thumbs. After her parents (Grace Zabriskie and Ken Kesey) take her to a doctor (Buck Henry), who offers her parents no remedy for their daughter's condition, the film races ahead to the 1970s. Sissy is now a popular feminine hygiene spray model for a product called Yoni Yum, the product of a company owned by The Countess (John Hurt in drag). Sissy travels to the Rubber Rose beauty ranch, also owned by The Countess, to shoot a Yoni Yum commercial. At the ranch, she makes the acquaintance of the inscrutable Chink (Pat Morita) and Bonanza Jellybean (Rain Phoenix). But under the nose of The Countess, the cowgirls on the ranch are talking mutiny, with the women trying to liberate the Rubber Rose Ranch from the chains of patriarchal oppression. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Being a huge Tom Robbins fan I was excited to see this film - unfortunately it's just another case of a great book grossly misinterpreted on screen. I can't imagine how anyone would have even begun to follow the story line without the benefit of having first read the novel. Casting for most characters is excellent - with the exception being Rain Phoenix as Bonanza Jellybean - dreadful, boring, deadpan delivery . In her defense there was not much of a script to work with, simply hacked portions of an orginally wonderful work. Read the book and enjoy it as it was meant to be, and avoid this ridiculous adaptation.