I love movies, I don't care which ones if I'm watching with someone. I'll watch any genre. So Jim was looking for something he hadn't seen in awhile or hadn't seen at all and found Steel Magnolias which he remembered being really funny due to Shirley MacLaine. I hadn't seen the film in about eight years, maybe longer.
If you haven't seen it, it's a Herb Ross directed film (the other film of his I like is Boys On The Side) set in the south. Sally Field plays Julia Roberts mother. Dolly Parton runs the town beauty parlor. Olympia Dukakis is the rich woman in town whose husband died. Shirley is the rich woman who has "just been in a bad mood for the last 40 years." Daryl Hannah goes to work for Dolly. Julia has a form of diabetes that's very bad when she's a young woman and gets much worse after she gets pregnant (she marries Dylan what's his face from the Practice -- McDermott). Eventually Sally Field gives Julia a kidney but even that doesn't help in the end and she goes into a coma and then dies.
Yes, Shirley walks off with the film. But I had forgotten how sad it was. When Julia gets her hair cut short, I started crying and was crying straight through to the funeral -- sobbing between when Sally goes to see her grandson right after Julia dies.
Everyone is so great in the film. The first time I saw it, I hated Sally's character. I thought Julia was just the most perfect character. I was very young. I've grown since then and realize that at the beginning, Julia's really a spoiled brat and she'd realize that if Sally hadn't worked so hard to make everything appear normal.
My heart breaks for Sally's character now. I still like Julia but I can see a lot of immaturity in her character (and I had it at that age too -- Julia Roberts plays the character perfectly and it's probably the best performance of her entire career).
Dolly's great, Daryl's great. Olympia's always funny. But the movie belongs to Shirley who does such a great job.
But it's a movie that just rips you apart. And though Jim will deny it, he got a little watery eyed too. It was a good movie. It is still a good movie. Even after seeing it countless time over how many years. That's what makes a classic.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):