In Wild, Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed, a woman mourning for her mother and dealing with a nasty breakup. She's in so much emotional pain, she even turns to heroin and risky sexual escapades with strangers to dull the hurt. When none of it works, she decides to go on one long walk — 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, to be exact.
In this clip, Cheryl is dealing with her own baggage — literally and figuratively. She’s carrying so many unnecessary feelings of guilt and regret it seems like her hiking pack is also reflecting her mental state: overloaded. Luckily, this helpful stranger is able to lighten her load by "pruning" away the items she doesn't need on the massive trek.
Deodorant, binoculars and a saw are all items that seem pretty reasonable to a person walking through a forest for an extended amount of time, but ultimately, they’re just weighing poor Cheryl down.
When she reveals she's also carrying 12 condoms in her pack, the situation becomes a bit absurd. Who is she going to have sex with? A wayward firefighter? A doomsday prepper who's gone off the grid? Smokey Bear?
Reluctantly, she donates 11 of the condoms to the "free box," but pops one sole condom into her shirt pocket, just to be on the safe side.
The condoms may be significant to her character’s journey because she had been using sex to fill the emotional void inside her. At least by eliminating most of the condoms, she takes a baby step closer to healing herself. Holding on to one could mean she's hoping to meet someone she can fall in love with.
Wild also stars Laura Dern and Gaby Hoffman and opens in theaters Dec. 5.
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