Of Course, You Can

Steel Magnolias
Steel Magnolias

It seemed appropriate to write about this particular flick because it is, after all, this site’s namesake.  i figured i would take care of this sooner rather than later.

Steel Magnolias is the story of a group of women living in Chickapin Parish (in the good ole South, guys) who face life’s adversities together.  It all begins on the day when Shelby gets married.  her wedding is an initiation of sorts for newcomer Annelle.  And by the time the wedding is over, it’s just assumed that Annelle is one of the group.

Drum and M’Lynn are Shelby’s parents.  They are happy as pie to give their daughter away to the handsome and respectable Jackson Latcher Jr.  In fact, he might just be, as a neighbor calls him, “One big hangin’ man.”  We meet the ladys at Truvy’s Beauty Spot.  Annelle (Daryl Hannah) has just come from beauty school to work for Truvy (Dolly Parton) who owns a small beauty parlor and is married to a kind but isolated man named Spud and has a rough and tumble grown son named Louie.  In fact, one of the first things we hear is Truvy yelling first at her husband and then at her son (about Easter eggs and garbage, respectfully).

Annelle gets accustomed to her place at Truvy’s pretty quickly; though, she is quite different from the regular patrons.  Clairee Belcher (former first lady of Chickapin) comes in regularly, as does Miss Ouiser Boudreaux (or Louisa as Owen Jenkins will later call her).  Ouiser (Shirley McClaine) and Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) are best friends.  They fight like little girls, but they are wittier, and so we don’t mind at all.

Later in the morning, Shelby (Julia Roberts in her only non-annoying role) and M’Lynn (Sally Field) show up shortly after the rest of the girls do, and this is where the movie takes off.

Most of you have seen this flick, I’m sure, so I won’t go on about the plot (and for the safety of those FREAKS who haven’t seen it).

The relationships we see are almost believable.  The women understand each other in a way that only small town women really do.  People from cities probably won’t find this as believable as people from rural communities where gettin’ into other people’s business is an art form.  All that intrusion seems annoying, I know, but when you need help, the same people who gossiped about ya, just might be the ones to help you out.

this ensemble cast movie is among the best i’ve ever seen.  if you go to good ole imdb.com and look it up, you’ll find it has one of the longest pages of “memorable quotes” on the site.  this is because nearly every word that you’ll hear is utterly quotable and utterly fantastic.

I often joke that there is a Steel Magnolia-ism for every moment in your life.  And while I am just kidding when I say so, I am pretty sure it might actually be true.  I would rather spend the rest of my life listening to Truvy’s truisms than five minutes in a therapist’s office (though I do choose the latter from time to time).

At the very least, this movie is funny.  It does create caricatures of women like Ouiser and Truvy and Clairee, but those are sympathetic, and I think i am willing to forgive it for such an act when the whole product is a such a nice offering.

but then again, i can’t say anything bad about this movie.  it was the foundation of my greatest friendship and it is still a source of comfort for me whenever i get even a little upset.  it’s beautiful, and if you love it, you and i could get married sometime soon.

and remember: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, come sit by me!”


~ by acaseofyou12581 on November 20, 2008.

One Response to “Of Course, You Can”


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