Monday, January 07, 2008

HURTS SO GOOD: Steel Magnolias

In a quaint, well-kept Louisiana hamlet a local group of women congregate at Truvy's (Dolly Parton) Beauty Spot, where they gossip and giggle while preparing one another for life's little tragedies and terrific triumphs. Lately the talk of the town has been M'Lynn Eatenton's (Sally Field) daughter Shelby (Julia Roberts)--betrothed to handsome young lawyer Jackson Latcherie (Dylan McDermott)--and her upcoming wedding. Quirky newcomer Annelle (Darryl Hannah) is Truvy's latest assistant, whose peculiar past is enough to gain her acceptance into the cliquish coffee klatch. And then there's mean-spirited Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine), whose extreme wealth and bad temperament has alienated her from the community even though she is still much loved by her loyal friends at the beauty parlor, including wealthy society maven Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis). Much to her mother's dismay, Shelby's planning to have children, which is a serious health concern because she's severely diabetic. Luckily these steel magnolias can lean on one another for support in good and bad times. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is a touching and hilarious tribute to the strength and loyalty of southern women, directed with a deft hand by Herb Ross.

The dialogue in this movie always amazes me. Sally Field's character, M'Lynn: "I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life."

I don't cry much when Shelby dies. I tear up a little. But after M'Lynn walks out of her room to the waiting area and asks her son-in-law where Jack Jr. is, I lose it. He answers, "Aunt Fern's," and she shoots out of there, drives to the aunt's(not sure whose sister it is), and the woman brings the platinum-haired little boy outside as M'Lynn gets out of her vehicle. He sees his grandma and runs to her, and she picks him up. She's just lost her own adult child, and she's kissing all over her grandbaby. By now I've lost it and tears are rolling.

What emotion!

A story is feelings. A lesson for every writer.

What do you think of this movie?
You know how I love lists! Post a list of the movies that make you cry - but that you watch over and over. My friend Bernadette won't watch movies that make her cry - I think she's really missing something.

Great line by Clairee(Olympia Dukakis) : "Ouiser, you sound almost chipper. What happened today - you run over a small child or something?"

"I'd rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing."--Shelby (Julia Roberts)


  1. Fried Green Tomatoes.

    Who doesn't love Evelyn Couch?

    "Face it girls- I'm older and I have more insurance."

  2. Seriously. I'm going to have to think about this. Which part/s make you cry?

  3. I have a few here that I can think about while working.

    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Steel Magnolias
    The Notebook ( I was so shook up for days after watching that movie)
    Pretty Women
    City of Angels

  4. Yes, the Notebook is a great choice. Do you cry at the end of Pretty Woman? City of Angels--when Meg Ryan dies of course.

    Again, where do you cry at Fried Green Tomatoes?

  5. When Idgie's friend Ruth dies! That part didn't make you cry?

    Her nurse covers the clock and says, "She was a lady and a lady always knows when to leave." It makes me cry every time.

    It reminds me of my great-aunt Thelma, a true lady herself.

  6. Yes when Ruth dies I know it was her time but I really was hard to see and it reminded me of my grandma and her friend she always made us fried green tomatoes. I guess I just do cry a lot that is why unless I am in the mood to cry I don't watch them.

  7. I haven't watched it in a while but the movie Beaches is a tearjerker for me.

  8. O-o-okay, now I get it. Is it always people dying that makes us cry? But no, I have more for tomorrow, bwa-ha-ha-ha

    And beaches! Yes! Another dead chick!

  9. I haven't seen FGT for years, so my memory wasn't fresh. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. I love watching all the oldies but goodies. Pretty women I cried because I was so happy for her.
    Oh my goodness I forgot about another good one and I can't believe I forgot it I named our oldest daughter off of the movie. The Thorn birds.. It was so good and sad.

  11. Beaches, Steel Magnolias, Spanglish

  12. I do remember the Thornbirds.

    Oh, yes, I love Spanglish! Thanks for reminding me.

    There's another I just thought of -
    Dear Frankie.

  13. Steel has so MANY GREAT actresses!

    Loved FGTomatoes, Notebook (both couples wonderful actors) Beaches & Pretty Woman

    When I googled Spanglish since unfamiliar, they reference Terms of Endearment (another dead lady and Shirley McLaine)