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.