Leaving Normal

Leaving Normal is a heartwarming story of how one young woman finally finds her place in life and helps others to do the same. After experiencing one failure after another in everything she tries Maryanne, a rather quiet, unusual girl in her twenties, makes yet another wrong decision and marries Karl Johnson, who lives in the City of Normal. Once she arrives in Normal, she realizes that Karl is a very cruel, woman beater. She runs away from him and finds herself sitting on a bench in downtown Normal, not knowing what to do next. Darlene, a 38-year-old cocktail waitress in the local tavern, has just finished her shift. This will be her last night, as her ex-husband died and she is leaving Normal to live in the home that he had in Alaska. As she exits the bar she sees Maryanne sitting on the bus bench. Darlene, called Darlie for short, befriends Maryanne and offers her a ride to her sister Emily's home. Once they arrive at Emily's, Maryanne convinces Darlie to take her along to Alaska. The two skip out in the middle of the night and set out on their journey. We follow them through their hilarious escapades as they each try to find their own little niche in life.

  • Starring: Christine Lahti and Meg Tilly
  • Director(s): Edward Zwick
  • Producer(s): Universal Productions Canada
  • Screenwriter(s): Ed Solomon
  • Distributor: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: Thursday, February 27, 1992
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

In one scene, after Darlie's car has been vandalized, the pair set out hitchhiking and get a ride on the back of a pick-up truck loaded with crates of chickens. These chickens were rented from local farmers. They were placed in the crates and put onto the truck by the animal handlers. Once the scene was completed, the chickens were returned to their farms. In a scene when the girls are arguing over which road to take, one of the girls picks up a small tree frog and places it on the map. They decide wherever the frog hops that is the direction they will take. This was a frog caught out of its natural habitat at the filming location. After the scene was shot the frog was released back into his natural surroundings. Other animal action included reindeer grazing at the side of a road, a goat in a background scene and birds flying. American Humane was not on this set as the movie was filmed in Canada. But after conferring with the production company and trainers we are rating Leaving Normal "Acceptable".