The Goonies” for example), nostalgic (“Summer Magic”), and music-happy (“The Sound of Music” – which I’m going to see this weekend at the Hollywood Bowl. Yea!). But I don’t think I’ve truly discussed anything in that category of favorites that most people would expect from your average woman…until now. I can’t help it but I must talk about a movie I can quote backwards and forwards today. It’s time to be truly girly and talk about “Steel Magnolias” (1989).
I don’t know a single woman alive during the 80s who doesn’t love this film. I didn’t get to see it in the theaters, but I can’t count anymore the number of times I’ve watched it since. I’ve even done scenes from it for auditions. I wanted to play the part of Shelby, M’Lynn, Ouiser, Truvy…basically all of them. (I still would love to play them, though Shelby’s out of the question now.) The lines are so much fun to say too. I can’t help saying “This is it. I have found it. I am in hell” without that Southern, Louisiana accent coming out with it. Ouiser’s lines are truly my favorites, the best quips ever. She started my love of curmudgeonly characters that to this day is still going strong.
The Turning Point,” as well as Skerritt) and asked her which part she would like to play. According to her memoirs, MacLaine practically jumped at the chance to play the curmudgeonly Ouiser. Her best friend Clairee, played by Olympia Dukakis, was a departure for the great actress. Dukakis had spent her career until then playing ethnic characters, so to make sure she fit the environment, she hired dialect coaches and worked hard to master the Southern accent. Sally Field almost didn’t get the part of M’Lynn because the producers thought she just was too young to have a 21-year-old child…you know, until she reminded them that she actually did have a 21-year-old son. Daryl Hannah also almost missed out on the part of shy, plain Annelle because the producers thought she was just too glamorous for the part. So she proceeded to dress up as Annelle, completely dulled down, for the audition. She did such a great job at it that no one recognized her when she arrived.
So, this week, admit you have a girly side too, and watch the great women at work in “Steel Magnolias.” And don’t forget to have that box of tissues at your side. Have a wonderful week, everyone, and I’ll be back Friday with more great suggestions!
(Post-tidbit: CBS tried in 1990 to turn “Steel Magnolias” into a sitcom after the film’s success, continuing the story of the ladies after the film’s end. It starred Cindy Williams as M’Lynn and Sally Kirkland as Truvy, but the series was not picked up. The pilot did air though, so if anyone has it, be sure to post it!)
Video treat for today: Julia Roberts’ first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman