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Steel Magnolias
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Steel Magnolias More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The saddest movie that'll make you laugh.

8/10
Author: Sandy Matosz from United States
12 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are a couple reasons why everyone should watch this movie.

First, Steel Magnolias is led by a strong female cast whose snappy and comedic dialogue are enjoyable to watch. Their performances are so raw and believable that it's a shock to learn that only Julia Roberts was nominated for an Oscar.

The supporting cast is full of wonderful characters from Dolly Parton (Truvy) (she's so cute!), Olympia Dukakis (Clairee) and Shirley McLaine. McLaine was my favorite as Ouiser, a sarcastic, grouchy, two-time widow. Daryl Hannah was the one weak point within the tight group. Hannah's performance was spot on, but I found her character exhausting and annoying at times. Roberts was lovable as Field's daughter Shelby, whose Type One Diabetes casts a somber cloud over the otherwise cheerful movie.

Second, the story is adapted from the play written by Robert Harling (The First Wives' Club). Harling's inspiration for the story came from his own tragic real-life experiences of dealing with his sister's sickness and eventual death.

Third, Sally Field. Field is fantastic as Robert's strong and overprotective mother, M'Lynn. Field's monologue at the end gave me the chills, it was perfect representation of what M'Lynn was going through. It's enough just to watch the movie for that one scene. I have not seen many of her movies so I didn't realize how incredibly talented she is. I really really like her, I really do.

Throughout the movie, I got confused with the time jumps and what was going on during some scenes. Sometimes the next scene jumps ahead a couple of years and I wouldn't realize it until the next scene. Other than that issue, I really have no complaints. The cinematography, hairstyling (the southern big puffy hair), and the acting by everyone (even the men) was perfect for this chick flick.

A heartwarming and charming tearjerker, Steel Magnolias is a movie that everyone has to see at least once. Highly recommended. 8 out 10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This movie will make you laugh and cry and love every minute of it.

10/10
Author: lani4-886-903615 from Canada
21 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I absolutely love this movie. The performances are superb and the emotional range of these women is incredible. I rarely laugh out loud when I'm watching a DVD alone at home but this movie had me laughing out loud and for so long my sides were sore and I had tears rolling down my face and this happens every time I see this film. And at the other extreme, Sally Field's performance throughout was wonderful but her portrayal of the insanity of such loss and grief in the scene at the cemetery is gut wrenching and explores the whole insane range of emotions that are experienced with such profound grief. I was sobbing and even after repeated viewings - I do watch movies that I really like several times over a period of weeks or months and even years - her portrayal of this grieving mother has me first crying and then laughing every time I watch it.

The lifelong bonds between these women are wonderful in their depth and complexity and their acceptance of each others idiosyncrasies that are so well portrayed by these amazing actresses is heartwarming and funny and very real. These women portray friendship at its best.

I highly recommend this film, chick flick or not, it's fun and funny and gut wrenching and heartwarming. I laughed until I cried until I laughed again.

Why at least some of these women did not receive Academy Awards for their brilliant performances of this amazing script, I'll never understand.

I must also give high praise to the use of silence in this film. So many moments are given such importance and impact by the use of silence especially those very long moments in the hospital around 'the decision' spoke volumes.

I do hope it is not possible to wear out a DVD because I might just watch it enough to wear it out!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Tough Southern Belles

9/10
Author: Desertman84 from United States
6 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Steel Magnolias is a comedy drama that stars Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts. It is about the bond among a group of women from a parish in the Louisiana area. The film is based on a play Steel Magnolias which in turn dealt with the playwright's experience with the death of his sister.It was written by Robert Harling,who also is the playwright; and it is directed by Herbert Ross. The title refers to those seemingly frail Southern belles who survive any and all deprivations through whims of iron.

This is about the story of an all-female cast of characters laughed, cried and compared menfolk.It expands the playing field by including scenes at picnics, hospitals and the like, and by visually depicting the males who never appeared in the stage version. Truvy Jones is the goodhearted beauty-shop owner, while Louisa "Ouiser" Boudreaux is the cantankerous town eccentric, decked out in grungy overalls and speaking fluent Trash. Well-to-do M'Lynn Eatenton bravely endures several assaults to her sensibilities, not the least of which is the illness and subsequent death of daughter Shelby Eatenton Latcherie.

The movie is a prime example of ensemble film making and it is lovingly coordinated.The performances are first-rate, with the possible exception of Daryl Hannah's over emphatic portrayal of her character.It was a good character study plot which unfortunately had a clichéd and formulaic conclusion.Overall,it was an entertaining film that can make the viewer laugh and cry as he/she relates to the characters.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Barbershop Sextet

8/10
Author: writers_reign
9 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Difficult to find fault with this feel good chick flick. Even Shirley MacLaine can't louse it up but it is a young Julia Roberts who crawls away with it despite strong competition from Olympia Dukakis and Sally Field. I was fortunate enough to see the play before I saw the movie, albeit an English production of an American play set in the Deep South which meant it had two strikes on it going in but the quality of the writing overcame that handicap and is evident in this fine adaptation. Friendship is the theme that runs through it and the fact that in this case it is female friendship is more or less irrelevant. There's a nice symmetry in that it begins with the wedding of the Roberts character and ends, to all intents and purposes, with her premature death following a kidney transplant. Films about the South tend to get it wrong as often as they get it right but when they do get it right, as in To Kill A Mockingbird and this one, they really get it right. A winner.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Steel Magnolias

Author: dilnazsumo from United States
2 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Steel Magnolias,full of laughter, pain, joy, and sorrow is a must see movie for all women. It is Based on Robert Harling's, experience with his sisters tragic death. The story of a close group of friends convey the relationship we have in our lives. the struggles and triumphs the women go through will have you emotionally attached.The meaning behind the title comes from the meaning of women from the south. The Magnolia flower is a beautiful scented and dainty flower much like the gentile women of the old South. In addition, the word steel comes from the women's strength and stability through their troubles. After seeing this movie many times, the obstacles the women go through especially, M'Lynn whom defines the fragile but also strong heart of women. I have learned that life can be hard at times, and even though we may not accept such instances like death, we have to be strong and strive for the best. The women in this movie can be defined as delicate as a magnolia but though as steel.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Comedy and Tragedy

9/10
Author: jamies_06 from United States
28 July 2009

The setting of "Steel Magnolias" is in a small town Louisiana. The movie mainly takes place in a beauty parlor owned by Truvy (Dolly Parton). Some of Truvy's regular clients like to come into the parlor to gossip, just like women from the South. Truvy does Shelby's (Julia Roberts) hair on the day of her wedding, making her look so beautiful that it causes Shelby to almost faint, but really she almost faints because of her diabetes, so they give her a glass of orange juice to make her feel better. Truvy hired a woman, Annelle (Daryl Hannah), to do M'Lynn's (Sally Field) hair. M'Lynn is also Shelby's mother. There are also two other women waiting at the beauty parlor to get their hair done. Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) who is the wealthiest/meanest women in Louisiana and Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) who is a nice widowed women. All of these six women become very good friends throughout this movie. They have obstacles to face, for example, a major event that happens is that Shelby has diabetes and then gets pregnant which M'Lynn objects to because it can cause major problems to her body. It causes one of Shelby's kidney's to fail. So M'Lynn gives Shelby one of hers, but in the end it doesn't turn out good. Throughout this movie no matter what happens, the women all stick together and help each other through hard times.

"Steel Magnolia's" was released on November 15, 1989 and directed by Herbert Ross. This movie is about six women who become best friends who have times of happiness and sadness. The women make funny jokes and laugh with each other, but when something terrible happens they are always there for each other to make each other feel better.

The reason I like the movie "Steel Magnolias" so much, is because it is such a good movie that makes me laugh, but at the same time makes me cry. I believe that "Steel Magnolias" fits the title just right. The women are tough like steel, so they can face any obstacle that comes there way, but as gentle as a magnolia flower.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful celebration of friendship

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
15 December 2008

This film is about the friendship of a group of middle aged women in a small town in Louisiana.

An all female leading cast with lots of gossips usually means terrible boredom, but "Steel Magnolias" is a nice surprise that engages me throughout. Despite all the gossips, fights and even hurtful exchange of words, it can be seen that they have friendship as strong as steel. This celebration of extraordinary bond is delightful to watch, and is almost inspirational to the modern world where people do not really talk to each other anymore. The plot also reminds us that there is something beautiful even in the most tragic circumstances.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A chick flick with backbone--from a guy who hates chick flicks

8/10
Author: buzzerbill (buzzerbill@aol.com) from Atlanta, GA
20 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Both Gregory the Movie Cat and I loved this movie. (Gregory gave it just short of a complete purr. Like me, he knows that this is a film with Julie Roberts before she really learned to act.) To get one central issue off the table--Julia Roberts is largely irrelevant here. She's beautiful, she's doomed, she dies young. She is largely uninteresting but for what surrounds her--and that is what makes the film completely enjoyable.

To begin with, this is the real South, not warmed over Scarlett O'Hara. And what comes with the real South is a very creative use of language. The real strength of the film lies in the screenplay, which rarely if every hits a wrong note. Truvy proclaims that "Smiling through tears is my favorite emotion," and the screenplay captures that complex of emotions extremely well. And is extremely funny, from throwaway lines like "My personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to give good hair" to the denouement of the emotional scene right after Shelby's funeral--"Hit Ouiser!!" In addition--and this is really rare--all the casting is good. Even Julia Roberts--she really can't act, but she looks completely right. I have to single out Shirley MacLaine. Much as I like her, the fact is that for the last twenty years she has been giving performances that, charitably, can be described as trainwrecks--you have to watch them, but they are horrible. Ouiser is a trainwreck as well, but a really, really interesting one.

Finally, Steel Magnolias was filmed in one of the most beautiful towns in the US, and that certainly shows.

This film is a comedy with a serious interlude. It is virtually impossible to dislike. Guys, it is a chick flick that you can enjoy without mental damage. In short--perhaps not the very peak of the cinematic art, but a really funny and enjoyable evening.

Highly recommended to all.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful film despite its flaws

8/10
Author: gaming_geologist from United States
26 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is without a doubt one of my favorite films of all time--and I dare say the only "chick flick" that I truly enjoy. Steel Magnolias had an even mix of drama and comedy, all interlaced with the theme of friendship and love. The acting was beautiful, and each of the six leading ladies had their shining moments (*brief spoiler* particularly Sally Field in the cemetery scene after the funeral*, not to mention the periodic humorous exchanges between Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine and Daryl Hannah's changing personality throughout the course of the movie).

Granted, this film does have its flaws. Cinematography was so-so, and there were plenty of continuity errors. Olympia Dukakis's accent sounded ridiculously forced at times, and Julia Roberts's accent faded in and out. Overall, though, the movie's good qualities far outweighed the bad, and I highly recommend Steel Magnolias to anyone who needs a good laugh...as well as a good cry.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully sad

8/10
Author: wnterstar from United States
21 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the best ensemble casts ever assembled. It follows the lives of 6 women in a small town, showing us the fights, the feuds, and the friendships. We see them rejoice at weddings, and births, we worry with them when one of their own is sick, we cry with them when one dies.

The best part about this movie is that it shows us two things.

1. True friends are always there for us. That even when you don't like the person very much, you still love them and will stand by them.

2. Even though they are considered the "weaker" sex, it's usually the woman who ends up dealing with life's trials and tribulations, while the men avoid the pain.

It's a great movie to watch, just remember to have plenty of tissues available.

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