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Steel Magnolias
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Steel Magnolias More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Classic

Author: elliestratton from United States
15 February 2007

This movie is a real classic. Everyone in the film from Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, they are all so good. The scene that always makes me cry is the "Why" scene with Sally Field after she loses her daughter. She gives a heart-wrenching monolgoue about why things have gone so wrong. It is an unbelievable performance. I think it's funny that guys call these films "Chick Flicks" when these films have some of the best acting and writing you can get. Also, Shirley as Weezer is a dropdead funny performance. I didn't know this film was based on a true story. When I watch it it always reminds me of my family.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chronology confusions...

8/10
Author: edwardhopper from United States
27 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoy watching this movie for so many reasons, but here's a nagging question: Is anyone else confused about the timing of Annelle's pregnancy? My mother and I have obsessed about this for years, and we chase around and around and never solve it.

The movie starts at Easter time, let's say in 1980. At Christmas 1980, Shelby announces her pregnancy. Jack Jr. is "born on the 3rd of July", 1981, and his 1st birthday is celebrated in the movie in July 1982, in the days before Shelby's kidney transplant. Annelle is not visibly pregnant when she comes running out with the pot of beans for Shelby's family. Then Shelby has her rejection scene at Halloween, when Annelle has her wedding shower (we can't see her well enough to know if she's already visibly pregnant); Jack looks like he's no more than 15 months old, so it's probably still 1982. At Shelby's funeral, it's autumn and Annelle suddenly looks pregnant and talks about the baby (she'd be 3-4 months along at this point), and Jack Jr. still looks really little when M'Lynn picks him up from Aunt Fern's. Annelle's baby is then born at Easter time, at most 6 months after the funeral; in those final scenes, Jack Jr. looks a LOT older than 22 months, which is what he would have to be at that point. I think in the credits it even refers to him as "Jack Jr. (age 3)" or something.

So, one of two things could be true:

A. Shelby stayed in her coma for an entire year and died at Halloween in 1983, and Annelle's baby was born at Easter in 1984, in which case Jack Jr. should have been a lot bigger when M'Lynn went to pick him up but would fit his appearance in the final Easter scene.

OR

B. Annelle was already pregnant when she got married. Given that she was so religious that she wouldn't let Sammy keep beer in the fridge and got really embarrassed over the kinky underwear from Ouiser, I have a hard time believing that. It's also not as if seriously religious people don't get pregnant before getting married, but it is not really consistent with her character, and they don't say anything about it, leading me to believe that it was just an oversight.

Clearly I've thought about this more than the people who made the movie, which is to say I've thought about it way too much! The movie is not about Annelle, so it doesn't really matter, but the inconsistencies bugged me.

I saw the stage play, and I don't think Annelle even gets pregnant in that script, so no resolution there. Any theories?

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Add me to the list of men who like this film!

8/10
Author: giffey-1 from United States
8 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like other reviewers have said, this film is in my personal collection and I love it. This story of a group of women and their relationships with each other and the others in their lives as portrayed through the seasons of Nachitoches, Louisiana is like chicken soup - familiar, nourishing, and always there when you want to reconnect.

It starts with getting ready for a wedding at Easter. Actually, it starts with a newcomer to town (Anelle, brilliantly played by Darryl Hannah) getting a new job at the most successful beauty shop in town. Truvy's (played by Dolly Parton, giving her best performance) has become the gathering place for the group of women this movie will focus on. Meanwhile, at the Eatenton household, M'Lynn (Sally Field) is preparing for her daughter Shelby's (Julia Roberts) wedding. We meet this family and then get to see the next door neighbor, Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) crossing swords with M'Lynn's husband, Drum. Back at Truvy's we also get to meet the former First Lady of Chinquipin Parish, Claree (Olympia Dukaukis). The story unfolds through Shelby's wedding and our discovery that she is a diabetic which will create problems later on, to the Christmas Festival, to a summer Independence day where we learn Shelby has had a baby boy, and see what having that baby has done to Shelby's health, to a Hallowwe'en that starts well but ends in a tragedy, to Eater again and the rebirth of the circle of life. The stories range from hysterical to touching and the interplay and dialog of the actresses are wonderful. My personal favorite funny part is Ouiser unknowingly walking into Truvy's during a discussion of how to tell if a man is gay (I still laugh till I cry during that scene). How are the performances? Sally Field as the matriarch of the Eatenton family is a tower of strength, and then shows her strength through tragedy. This is Julia Roberts' finest performance ever, the most natural and genuine part she has played. (If you were wondering, I hate Pretty Woman) Just watch the scene at Christmastime between Sally and Julia and you will understand. Dolly Parton gives a performance instead of playing Dolly, and she may be my favorite character. I have read people say they felt Shirley MacLaine overplayed Ouiser, but I understand it. Ouiser is a larger than life character and is well served by Shirley. I have never been much of a fan of Darryl Hannah until I saw this movie. I thought she brought life to what could have been a cardboard character. Olympia Dukaukis is great as Claree, showing that life needn't end because you are a widow. I think of these women as friends and regularly enjoy seeing them when I watch this wonderful film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Great Collection of Actors' Moments

9/10
Author: bbbaldie from United States
4 August 2001

Everything came together for this one. Even though many of the drawls were make-believe, the following actors had shining moments here: (the much-overlooked) Tom Skerritt, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, and (perhaps the role that demanded the most) Daryl Hannah. Julia Roberts had one heck of an introduction, too. Yeah, I know, it wasn't her first, but it's the one that got her noticed. Another unfortunately overlooked actor, Sam Shepard, was his usual quietly excellent self too.

This movie was a joy to watch, and I'm an Oklahoman who normally detests Californians attempting to talk "suthen." It's been called the king (queen?) of the chick flicks, but I (a dedicated fan of Blazing Saddles, the penultimate anti-chick flick) beg to differ. This is an intriguing look into the world of the Louisiana beauty shop, a place off-limits to males. It makes you laugh, cry, laugh, laugh, cry, and laugh, in that order.

Guys, go rent this one and watch it with that special lady. You'll get full credit for being sensitive, yet have a few honest belly laughs in the process. Who could ask for more?

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Dramatic MASTERPIECE, Nearly perfect (cinematography is forgettable)

9/10
Author: moviebuffgirl from Earth
28 July 2001

This is one of the most fantastic dramatic movies I have ever seen. The way it gives voice to the fierce and loving bond between women, the love and anger between mothers and the daughters they cherish, the humor and spice of southern life, is simply SUPERB. The script is one of the finest I have ever seen brought to screen. Funny, sad, real, natural and yet more condensed into the essence of meaning. The whole movie is infinately quotable. But warning: you must be willing to cry because it is one of the most tragically beautiful character-driven movies I have ever seen.

The story of a group of small-town southern women who are tied together by their honest understanding of each other's flaws, their shared sense of the absurd, their fundamental goodness, and their fierce love for one another. It is a story of a luminous and charming young woman, named Shelby (played by an impossibly beautiful young Julia Roberts--who got the part on her dramatic talents alone, the casting directer considered her freakish-looking or at least "not at all pretty enough to play Shelby") who marries the man she loves (an unarguably handsome young Dylan McDermott). Shelby is loving and loved and wants nothing more than to have a child, a simple enough desire for some but considerably more of a challenge for Shelby, who has an extremely weak body and severe diabetes.

Although not explicitly referred to in the movie, Steel Magnolias seem to be the southern women themselves-- both beautiful and resilient. These are women who have grown up together, their lives and personalities intertwined.

The cast is pitch-perfect and uniformly superb. Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton and Shirley McClain are FANTASTIC-- embodying their flawed and loveable characters with fiery warmth. The luminaries are too many to list-- both Julia Roberts and Sally Field deserved oscars, and I am usually a harsh critic of both of them. (Field is frequently too 'cutesy' for my taste and her eyebrows quivver like a hound dog, and although I think Roberts has talent she has frequently made nearly unforgiveably poor choices such as Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, Conspiracy Theory and the like). However, both Field and Roberts are simply OUTSTANDING. If this movie doesn't make you weep, you should get your tear-ducts examined.

My only criticism, (and as someone who really really loves the art of film, this is a biggie) is that the cinematography is forgettable. In terms of setting dramatic mood it does a good job of pretending to let you eavesdrop on key moments. It is not intrusive. But in a movie of this dramatic scope, there were times when I wished the camera gave a more intimate angle, peered into people's faces and followed their gestures or symbolic details. In other words, the literary or artistic dimension of the way the film was put together seemd somewhat flat to me. This was the ONLY thing that detracted from what was otherwise one of the most moving and well-done dramas I have ever seen.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent twist of drama and comedy!

9/10
Author: kristy-12 from Cincinnati, OH
26 October 1999

I have watched this movie numerous times and love it each and every time! Everyone in the movie gave a wonderful performance. This is the only movie where two emotions can be expressed at the same time I think I have ever seen, i.e., sadness and laughter. I absolutely loved Olympia Dukakis's part, I felt she did a wonderful job with her comical yet sarcastic witty remarks. The end of the movie is definately heart wrenching but the scene in the cemetery where Sally Fields "let's loose" is wonderful, I too have felt that kind of anger over a death, and it was nice to see the "town grump" Shirley McLain express a different emotion over M'Lynn's loss instead of being cold and sarcastic as she is in the rest of the film. I think this is a must see for all, I'm not sure why it's labeled as a "chick flick", I think men and women both enjoy this movie. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece of writing and acting.

10/10
Author: redneck-2 from west monroe, la
9 July 1999

This is one of the best character-driven films ever made. The writing is excellent--if Robert Harling does nothing else the rest of his life, this semi-biographical play/film will sustain his reputation. Being from the South, and north Louisiana in particular, I feel qualified to comment on the authenticity of the characters. Watching this movie is like visiting old friends or going to a family reunion. The best part of the film, for me at least, is not the drama around which the storyline is based ( Julia Roberts' character, Shelby, is a diabetic who has a child against the advice of doctors, ultimately causing serious problems for her state of health), but rather the witty barbs and delicious asides that the women throw at each other and anyone else within firing distance. Perhaps the best line of the movie can be attributed to Olympia Dukakis' character, Clairee, who says, "Like I always say, if you can't say something nice about somebody---come sit by me!" The most moving scene of the movie, however, does fall into the drama category. Sally Field gives the performance of her career as a destroyed mother close to the end of the film. I'm not ashamed to admit that, even though I've seen this film probably more than twenty times, her performance brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat every time I watch it. I dare any guy to watch this movie and not get choked up--if you can, you don't have a heart! All in all, though, the melodrama is balanced very well with the humor, which, along with the performances of an outstanding cast (not one of which gives less than an excellent performance), makes for one hell of a movie!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The ultimate chick flick

Author: Lindsey deBlieux from Monroe, Louisiana
27 May 1999

Steel Magnolias is one of the most moving movies I have ever seen. Based on a true story (written by one of Shelby's brothers), Steel Magnolias is set in a small southern town which is very realistically portrayed (I know I used to live in the town where it was filmed). Steel Magnolias is the ultimate, pardon my french, chick flick. The laughter, tears, weddings, funeral, births, parties, and deathbed scenes all come together to form this moving film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just superb

Author: Cathie from London
5 November 1998

This is one of the most historic films of all time. The cast is one of the most perfect ever. Sally Field gives the performance of her life and should have received the Oscar for her moving portrayal of a grieving mother. But in this film there are tears through the laughter, laughter through the tears, it makes us all aware of how precious we are to one another. Probably my favourite film second only to Titanic.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Really A Chick Flick for All Generations!

10/10
Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
16 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How can you not like this movie. One of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. As it focuses on a mother-daughter relationship played by Sally Field and a then unknown newcomer played by Julia Roberts. As Roberts character choose happiness over her health problems with diabetes. Despite Field's misgivings.

As Roberts character is going to be married to a then unknown Dylan McDermott. As they have a child but Field's friends come to her rescue and try to make the most of it. Since she is going to be a grandma.

Dolly Parton is the owner of the beauty shop is a hoot that the movie revolves around. Daryl Hannah as the unrecognizable apprentice and Parton's protégé who is shy at first but really blossoms out during the film. Shirley MacLaine as the grouchy two time widow who has been in a bad mood for forty years. Olympia Dukakis as her only friend and finds a cheerful thing about things and people. Despite thick and thin situations.

Really a funny, sad, and dramatic film all rolled up into one. Love it a little over twenty years later!

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