My favorite movie of all time is based on Robert Harling's hit play, Steel Magnolias. This movie is directed by Herbert Ross and is a classic 80's comedy-drama. The main cast includes, Shelby (Julia Roberts) a daughter and young bride; M'Lynn (Sally Field), her caring mother; Clairee (Olympia Dukakis), a lovely lady; Truvy (Dolly Parton), a beauty-shop owner; Annelle (Daryl Hannah), a new stylist at Truvy's shop; and Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine), a blunt neighbor. Steel Magnolias was released in 1989 and is a beloved movie of many. The production costs were small compared to the massive gross of $83,759,091. Steel Magnolias was and still is a major hit among American women who enjoy a heartfelt movie with a roller coaster of emotions.
This movie is about a precious bond between five women. They all live in a southern small-town community of Louisiana and enjoy chatting with each other at Truvys beauty- shop. They gossip about everyday housewife troubles and family troubles as well. Nothing is too personal for them not to share, yet they keep all secrets inside the beauty shop. Truvy always explains that there is something about getting your hair done that makes you talk about lifes troubles.
Mlynns daughter Shelby is diabetic and has complications with conceiving a child. Shelby actually portrays Robert Harlings late sister Susan, who died from a diabetes complication in 1985. This movie is based upon a true story. Everyone was worried about Shelbys decision to start a family with her husband, thinking it would be too hard on her weakened body. However, Shelby doesn’t listen and later she gives birth to a healthy baby boy. She dies from a brain aneurysm when her baby turned two. Mlynn was the one who found her and becomes deeply depressed. The whole group is upset about Shelbys passing, but pulls everything together to comfort Mlynn. Even in the darkest of moments sweet and humble Annelle finds the bright side. She explains to Mlynn that Shelby is in a better place with her creator. Then Clairee cracks a joke about Ouiser and all tears into laughter. That is what this movie is about, an everlasting friendship and how they can laugh through life struggles.
The actors are excellent in expressing the many emotions this movie has. Sally Field is relatable mother figure, always worried and there for her daughter. Dolly Parton who plays Truvy has such a bubbly and caring attitude that anyone would want their hair done. Shirley MacLaine is the blunt and hilarious old woman who always tells what is on her mind. Olympia Durkakis who plays as Clariee, is the sensible one who always cracks a joke or two. Darly Hannah is the sweetest person you could ever meet, acting as her character Annelle. Finally, Julia Roberts could not be more perfect for the role of Shelby. Julia expresses Shelbys willingness to beat the odds and plays a remarkable role.
The vision of the director Herbert Ross was to make the movie like the original play as much as possible. He wanted to capture the sisterhood and friendship of all five ladies while adding a southern twist. The settings and props were much like Robert Harlings play on Broadway, but more detailed for movie purposes. He also included intervals that showed different seasons throughout the movie. Herbert did an excellent job of the overall movie production, resulting in the major success of the movie.
In conclusion, the general idea of the movie is to paint a perfect picture of five southern women who are delicate as magnolias but strong as steel. Although critics say Steel Magnolias is too perfect and feminine, the audience loved the charming personalities of each woman. It is truly the most humbling and inspiring movie I have ever watched. I have never watched anything like it and continue to watch it every time it makes an appearance on my cable television.