Women At the End of Their Ropes Are Not Alone
Allison is at the end of her rope. It seems as though no one understands how horrible it can be to live with Kevin, except for her. Does anyone understand her struggle? Is she just going crazy? Truthfully, Allison isn't alone. Every day, women are living their rock bottom, end-of-their-rope, stories.
So, for Allison, or any other woman feeling the world crash and burn around them: seven stories about women who can honestly say they've been there and done that. (Though we must point out, what they actually do varies widely)!
Annie in Bridesmaids
What if your business and relationship were a married pair? What would happen if you lost both at the same time? Would you wonder if you only get love when you're successful too? In Bridesmaids, Annie (played by Kristen Wiig), loses her business and co-worker/boyfriend at the same time. From the outside, one would think she's gone even crazier than Allison.
Sure, thinking about killing your husband sounds bad, but fighting a giant wedding cookie to the ground is… well, f**king crazy. Annie has plenty of rock bottom moments during the movie—moments when we're all mortified for her. But ultimately, Annie recovers from her breakdown and realizes that success does not define self-worth. She can choose to love and be loved, even when things really suck.
Minny in The Help
What would you do if you couldn’t get respect at work, or at home? I’m not talking about unfriendly glances or co-workers with poor attitudes. What if your boss refused to let you use a proper bathroom because of your race? Tate Taylor’s The Help is about a group of Black women who've withstood enough. One particular character who stands out in her struggles is Minny, played by Octavia Spencer, who works as a maid for a white family.
They refuse to let her use the bathrooms in the house, making her go to a filthy outhouse. Outside of her mistreatment at work, Minny also struggles with an abusive husband. She’s trapped at work and at home. One day, she decides enough is enough. This leads her right into the "white only" bathroom.
Getting to the end of her rope pushes Minny to stand up for herself. And while she does get fired, she's climbing up from the end of her rope with a smile on her face. The Help is an empowering watch, and Minny teaches audiences to never let others make you feel small.
Violet in Nappily Ever After
No one is perfect. That’s a fact of life. What would happen, though, if someone who spent their whole life chasing perfection had to face that fact? Haifaa al-Mansour’s Nappily Ever After is about a young Black woman, Violet (played by Sanaa Lathan), who’s spent her whole life being as perfect as possible. Violet realizes that the perfection she's tried to maintain—whether it's having the perfect job or perfectly straightened hair—is not actually for her benefit, but rather for the benefit and comfort of others.
In Nappily Ever After, the end of the rope sends Violet down a journey of self-discovery. She develops a love for her natural looks, and the less-than-perfect sides of life. Sure she loses control along the way, but as the title suggest, she makes it to her Nappily Ever After.
Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada
Would you give up everything to be rich and famous? Ask Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) from David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada. She’s the editor-in-chief of a high-end fashion magazine and her goal is to be the best of the best. She's ruthlessly powerful and often cruel at work. And while Miranda’s success and stature is impeccable on the outside, her devotion to her job causes her to slowly lose family and friends. She’s on the brink of another divorce, and isn't the most present with her twin daughters.
As the audience, we only get a peek at Miranda's rock bottom. In a meeting with Andy, her assistant played by Anne Hathaway, Miranda casually mentions her husband is divorcing her. And while her delivery is masked by a typical work update, it's clear that Miranda is not okay.
Unlike the women we've looked at thus far, Miranda does not use this opportunity to climb back up her rope. Instead she double crosses her longtime friend and coworker, Nigel, to keep her own job. Miranda may never realize how her misguided priorities change her from a person to “The Devil," but if you're looking for a lesson in what to avoid in your work-life balance, it's worth a watch.
Aileen in Monster
Happily ever after doesn't happen for everyone. But being able to dream about a happier, brighter future is sometimes enough to make you feel as if you're living it. Patty Jenkins’s 2003 film Monster, is about a woman whose life depends on her dreams. Aileen (played by Charlize Theron) hits rock bottom when she can no longer imagine a future where she feels love. As a prostitute, she struggles with a disconnect between sex and love, and over time, she completely compartmentalizes the two.
The story follows her rediscovery of love with a meek young woman named Shelby, and the murders Aileen commits in order to hold on to that love. It's unclear how many bottoms Aileen hits. Does she feel the lowest just before rediscovering love? Or is she lower when she kills for that love? Give it a watch and see what you think.
Georgia in Last Holiday
For Georgia Byrd, played by Queen Latifah in Wayne Wang’s Last Holiday, dreams are an escape from reality. They excuse her from going out and actually making her dreams a reality. One day, Georgia has a wake-up call. A CAT scan reveals she has brain tumors and only a few weeks to live. Her response? Georgia quits her job and goes on the vacation of her dreams. There, she realizes that her diagnosis was a blessing in disguise, as it helps her get out of unfulfilling routines and enables her to be bold in ways she never had been before. Georgia’s rock bottom was living life blandly, her diagnosis helps her find the courage to climb out. It may not sound like it on paper, but this move is a plot-twisting, hilarious watch.
Cassandra in Promising Young Woman
Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman follows the story of a medical school dropout, Cassie (played Carey Mulligan), as she seeks vengeance on “nice guys” who take advantage of drunk women. But why? Cassie’s closest friend lost her life because of “respectable” med-students who sexually assaulted her and got away with it, guilt-free. Cassie fixates on the past. The trauma of losing her best friend and watching her rapist move on with his life, sends her into a life of revenge.
Cassie was at the end of her rope when she lost her friend. The revenge Cassie seeks throughout the film may or may not be her rise from that low point, but regardless, the lessons she teaches through it are undeniably powerful. In the end, Cassie teaches us all a lesson.
So after all that, one thing is certain. Allison is not the only one at the end of her rope.
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