After she discovers that her boyfriend has betrayed her, Hilary O'Neil is looking for a new start and a new job. She begins to work as a private nurse for a young man suffering from blood ... See full summary »
Pivoting around the lively Truvy Jones' Louisiana beauty parlour, a tightly-knit band of friends, confront griefs, loss, life's unforeseen tragedies and heartaches with what they do best: gossiping and sharing. The spirited diabetic and bride-to-be, Shelby; her always supportive mother, M'Lynn; Truvy's gawky assistant, Annelle; the city's curmudgeon, Ouiser; and the town's former first lady, Clairee, are the warm Southern belles who know how to survive life's challenges with their unwavering friendship. But when Shelby decides to conceive, things will turn upside down..Written by
Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine said in an interview that Director Herbert Ross was very difficult to work with, telling the main lead actresses they couldn't act, and singling out Julia Roberts in particular, to the point that she would be left in tears. See more »
When Ouiser arrives at the hair salon before the wedding, she ties the dog leash to the tree. When the dog runs off after the birds, the leash is looped through itself, not tied. See more »
[looking at herself in Truvy's compact mirror]
Oh my God Shelby was right, my hair *does* look like a brown football helmet!
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Flawed But Extremely Entertaining Mixture of Comedy and Drama
An extremely episodic story of several smalltown southern women whose social lives revolve around meetings in the local beauty parlor, STEEL MAGNOLIAS' script and performances are dogged by an aura of artificiality--but it scarcely matters, for the film is a tremendous amount of fun.
Some of the performances are more successful than others, with Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, and Darryl Hannah coming out on top (I am greatly surprised that so many other reviewers dislike Hannah's performance, which seems to me considerably less artificial than many others--but perhaps since I'm actually Southern I have a different perspective). Sally Fields and Dolly Parton are less successful, but not in any sense that actually distracts from the fun. Perhaps most surprising in a film which focuses on women are the brief but impressive performances from the male supporting cast, which includes effective performances by Tom Skerrit, Sam Shepherd, and Dylan McDermott, and which serve to ground the film with a sense of the broader community in which the women live.
The script abounds in zinging one-liners ("If you can't say something nice, come sit by me!") and often hilarious situations (imagine Olympia Dukakis surrounded by naked men in the highschool football team's locker room); it also contains some very touching segments sure to choke up all but the most heartless viewer. And although the story is extremely manipulative and rather predictable, those factors don't actually get in the way of its effectiveness. While probably not a "great film" by any serious standard, it is tremendously good-natured, well-intended, and extremely entertaining, and most people will find that it lingers pleasantly in mind and holds up well under repeated viewings.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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