Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Golden Magnolia

Steel Magnolias is a modern day drama-comedy film from 1989, directed by Herbert Ross and written by Robert Harling. This story is set in a parish in near New Orleans, and spans several years in the lives of the shop's owner and her customers and is based on the writer’s family experiences. Six women and a beauty parlor: well that doesn't sound much like a scenario that would hold much appeal for men. However, the writer chose this as the setting for the movie based on his own family experiences and the result holds universal appeal.

The movie opens with Annelle (Daryl Hannah) applying for a job at Truvy's beauty shop. Truvy (Dolly Parton) hires her, just in time to help out with an important day M'Lynn Eatonton (Sally Field) and her daughter Shelby (Julia Roberts) are coming in for hairstyles in preparations for Shelby's wedding. While at the beauty shop we get the first insight into all of these women’s life and find out that Shelby is a diabetic. She actually has a seizure while getting her hair done and we find out M’Lynn’s opinions on Shelby’s life. Next we are introduced to Drum (M'Lynn's husband, played by Tom Skerritt) when he can't find his gun to clear out the birds before the wedding. I could not believe that he finally decided to use firecrackers and then looses his hearing for the wedding. I think the first time I saw this scene I left so hard because I could see my grandfather doing that. There are abundant amusing lines, such as when Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) calls Drum "a boil on the butt of humanity." In the end Shelby decides to have a baby and the stress from that situation causes her to die. There are plenty of laughs in this movie but despite the many jokes it is definitely a tearjerker and just like many of the dramas that I have watched this one has the majority of the funniest scenes at the beginning and the more touching one’s at the end. I think that this is a great classic and is very entertaining and I believe it is a movie that will still be around for years to come.

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