Steel Magnolias [1989]

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 117 minutes

Based on Robert Harling's play, this comedy-drama directed by Herbert Ross (The Turning Point) follows several years in the lives of women who regularly see one another at a beauty shop in their small Louisiana town. The story deepens as Julia Roberts, playing a serious diabetic and the daughter of Sally Field, goes downhill in her health. But as an ensemble piece, this is one of those enjoyably lumpy tearjerkers with many years' worth of stored truths suddenly being shared between the characters, lots of grievances aired, that sort of thing. Daryl Hannah and Shirley MacLaine assume the most eccentric roles, Dolly Parton the most fun, and Olympia Dukakis the most dignified, while Sally Field essentially provides the moral and emotional center of the movie. --Tom Keogh

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