Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton
Annelle: But, Ms. Truvy, I swear to you that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair!
A group of very southern women trade gossip, insults, and witticisms throughout weddings, birthdays, and holidays. Then somebody dies and it’s sad, but the women are strong and go back to their funny dialogue.
I was enjoying this movie for the first, oooooh, 2/3 of it probably, fully expecting some sort of hardships to befall some of the characters. I was not expecting the comedic tone to nosedive into a bottomless pit of despair, though. I thought the tragic turn was a bit heavy compared to the rest of the movie. The first 2/3 was quite funny, and it would have been nice to see them use humor to get through some tough times, but not this tough. Their return to humor seemed inappropriate in light of the severity of the tragedy.
The performances are mostly good, and I especially liked Shirley Maclaine as the oddly named, Ouiser. She got most of the best lines in the movie. Sally Field is good up until she has to really go all out with a huge dramatic outburst near the end. Maybe it was so intense that the director didn’t want to make her do a second take, but he should have. That scene was cringe-worthy.
It’s a shame that the manipulative ending left me a bit annoyed because the first half, despite the accents wearing me down, was light hearted and enjoyable. I just wish they hadn’t shoehorned in the overblown Oscar moments.
10 – 3 for the unnecessary end – .7 for the overdone accents becoming annoying + .2 for some especially good comedic performances = 6.5