Sunday, June 22, 2008

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say About Anybody, Come Sit by Me

Today's movie:

1989's 'Steel Magnolias'

Starring: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott.

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Chick Flick

Plot: Southern women be gettin' their hair did. Oh, and dying.

Ahh sugar, sugar: I've often joked that, to me, Steel Magnolias is the scariest movie ever made. I'm only half-kidding. Usually when I do these type of movie things, I do them assuming that everyone has seen the movie-I'm not reviewing them here, I'm just shooting the shit, basically. But today, for this one, I'll make an exception and explain part of the plot, and yes, it's a big ol' spoiler if you haven't seen it.

Julia Roberts' character, Shelby, is a diabetic. Shelby is told that while she is able to have children, it would probably be best if she didn't. So what does she do? She gets pregnant, it ends up taking its toll on her body, she goes into a coma and then croaks. My daughter has type 1 diabetes, and, well, it makes it kinda hard to watch now.

That being said, Shelby's diabetes is the dramatic anchor of the movie and aside from that BIG HUGE SCARY plot point, the movie is a comedy. If I could find a way to edit out all the diabetes stuff, I'd watch it all the time, because it's a very funny movie. I have ovaries, I'm from the south and it's got Dolly Parton in it-I'm biologically designed to like this movie, even though I don't care for the chick films. It's got a shitload of quotable lines and the cast-especially Shirley MacLaine-is awesome, save for Daryl Hannah.

I swear, every time I see her in a movie, I think of that Paula Poundstone bit about how if people want to see Daryl Hannah on film that badly, they should stick a picture of her in the corner of the screen, 'cuz she's got no business acting. She's WAY out of her element here and she takes me right out of the movie each time I see it. Until the end when I start bawling, because I can't NOT watch the thing all the way through because I'm apparently a masochist.

In sum: Funny movie. Diabetes is bad. Daryl Hannah may be worse.

"Is Dylan McDermott nice in person?": Since this isn't your typical 80s movie in that it didn't feature any flash-in-the-pan types, I'm gonna spare myself the work on the 'where are they now' section. They were acting before Steel Magnolias, they're still acting now.

Grab it Here.