Steel Magnolias

Director: Herbert Ross
Year Released: 1989
Rating: 2.0

Louisiana ladies go about their daily lives: M'Lynn (Sally Field) and her husband Drum (Tom Skerritt) are planning to marry off their diabetic daughter Shelby (Julia Roberts) to lawyer Jackson (Dylan McDermott), hairdresser Truvy (Dolly Parton) hires troubled Annelle (Daryl Hannah) to be her assistant, socialite Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) buys a radio station and local crank Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine) is out to annoy everyone.  Robert Harling expanded his play for the big screen (and appears as a pastor) but it's so lightweight and golly-gee corny it almost feels like a parody of the American South, and the only bit of "real drama" involves Shelby's poor health, which is telegraphed well in advance (sadly, Mr. Harling lost his sister in a similar fashion).  The assembled talent is impressive though, particularly MacLaine (relishing those snarky one-liners), Parton and Field, who has a great scene at the cemetery where she has to go through all the stages of grief at once.  Also: whose bright idea was it cast Daryl Hannah as a sanctimonious dork?