It's always fascinating to read about the combination of intensive planning and happy accidents behind any movie, and Aikman has done the legwork — nearly every stage of the process, from script agent to editor, is accounted for ... you get the sense that Aikman isn't just taking note of the feminist ire at the heart of this movie: She's out to show how much of a fight it really was ... On the surface, Off the Cliff sketches this one-in-a-million serendipity with breezy style; beneath it, this slice of movie history invites you to think about why it's one in a million at all.
The author’s fondness for the dusty, gritty parts of filmmaking jives perfectly with the film’s eye for the sandblasted parts of American life ... the other half of the story, what Thelma & Louise really meant, is the real draw of Aikman’s book. It’s the tale of American feminism, and in particular, the story of how women are mistreated in Hollywood...Aikman’s gift is to take the sexism of Los Angeles and quietly, without fanfare, make the perpetual privileging of male filmmaking a concrete fact for the reader ... Off the Cliff is inspiring in the way the best speculative literature is: it shows what would be, could be, if women were allowed their own stories.
Becky Aikman has written a half-terrific book. One half has delicious behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the making of a classic film, as well as sharp insight on all of the rivalrous points of view. The other half—an ideological retake of history—is less of a success and more of a feminist screed ... [Aikman] dumps us regular working girls quickly for her real heroine. She tries to tell the story of women in Hollywood through the women of this movie, and mostly that means the world according to the screenwriter of Thelma & Louise, Callie Khouri ... To the author, the quite famous girls vs. boys feuds during this production obviously flowed from the feminist theme. It’s easy to see how tempting this interpretation would be: Off the Cliff should tell a gender story because the story is about gender. But what I see, 25 years hence—and from more of a bird’s-eye view—seems to be a classic power-ownership dynamic.