Sunday, November 6, 2011
"Steel Magnolias" 1989
Here is a movie I watch if I need a good cathartic cry.
I can remember seeing an episode of Phil Donahue about this movie. It had the whole cast on stage and talking about making the movie. It seems like Sally Field is always playing someones mother in movies lately, but this was one of her best.
I have never seen the stage play. I have heard it is limited to one set, which is the beauty shop. But I love the scope of the movie. The opening scene showing Annelle walking through the town and seeing the preparations for Shelby's wedding set the tone well.
I love the cast.
Truvy is played by Dolly Parton. You believe her as someone that has hid under make up and hair all her life. She loves her family but wonders about the rest of the world.
Truvy: I kind of like hiring somebody with a past.
Clairee: She can't be more than eighteen. She hasn't had time to have a past.
Truvy: Oh get with it, Clairee. This is the eighties. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.
Clairee: I've just been to the dedication of the new children's park.
Truvy: Yeah, how did that go?
Clairee: Janice Van Meter got hit with a baseball. It was fabulous.
Truvy: Was she hurt?
Clairee: I doubt it. She got hit in the head.
It has a lot happening. The men in the cast are all great too.
But it is the end that gets me every time. The scene at the graveside is incredible and jumps from serious to inane laughter authentically.
M'Lynn: [crying] I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.
M'Lynn: I'm fine! I can jog all the way to Texas and back, but my daughter can't! She never could! Oh God! I am so mad I don't know what to do! I wanna know why! I wanna know *why* Shelby's life is over! I wanna know how that baby will *ever* know how wonderful his mother was! Will he *ever* know what she went through for him! Oh *God* I wanna know *why*? *Why*? Lord, I wish I could understand!
[in a firm tone]
M'Lynn: No! No! No! It's not supposed to happen this way! I'm supposed to go first. I've always been ready to go first! I-I don't think I can take this! I-I don't think I can take this! I-I just wanna *hit* somebody 'til they feel as bad as I do! I just wanna hit something! I wanna hit it hard!
[grabs Ouiser by the shoulder and positions her in front of M'Lynn]
Clairee: Hit this! Go ahead M'Lynn, slap her!
Ouiser Boudreaux: [taken aback and confused] Are you crazy?
Clairee: Hit her!
Ouiser Boudreaux: Are you *high*, Clairee?
Truvy: [in a frightened tone] Clairee, have you lost your mind?
Clairee: We'll sell t-shirts sayin' "I SLAPPED OUISER BOUDREAUX!" Hit her!
Annelle: [in a scared tone] Ms. Clairee, enough!
Clairee: Ouiser, this is your chance to do something for your fellow man! Knock her lights out, M'Lynn!
Ouiser Boudreaux: [snatches away] Let go o' me!
Clairee: M'Lynn, you just missed the chance of a lifetime! Half o' Chiquapin Parish'd give their eye teeth to take a whack at Ouiser!
Just writing about it makes me a little weepy.