Sunday, 20 April 2014

Steel Magnolias: Essential Easter Viewing

I thought I'd do something a little different today, and talk about one of my all time favourite movies; Steel Magnolias.

Steel Magnolias has been one of my favourite films since I was a little girl, and I have watched it every Easter without fail for as long as I can remember. I consider it essential Easter viewing, and it just wouldn't be Easter without it. 

In my opinion, Steel Magnolias is one of the best and loveliest girlie movies ever made, and for those of you who have never seen it, I'm here to tell you why.

Steel Magnolias is a beautiful bittersweet eighties classic about a group of southern women from Louisiana who have bonded at the beauty parlour and come together to support each other during the triumphs and tragedies of life.  It's simply a film about love and friendship with plenty of dry-wit mixed in. 

The film has a strong all-star cast including Dolly Parton as the fabulous glamour technician Truvy; Daryl Hannah who plays the deeply religious Annelle; Julia Roberts as Shelby, a young diabetic newly-wed; Sally Field who plays Shelby's doting mother M'Lynn; Shirley MacClaine as the fantastic sharp-tongued Ouiser; and Olympia Dukakis as Clairee, the fabulous wealthy widow.

The film focuses around the six women over a few years, beginning at Easter on the morning of Shelby's wedding to Jackson (Dylan McDermott). Although the film focuses equally on all of the women, most of the scenes are linked to Shelby in one way or another from her wedding to her funeral, as they band together to support each other during each milestone.

While the film is mostly filled with feel-good moments, it's also a tearjerker. Shelby is a diabetic and suffers kidney failure after having the baby the doctors said she shouldn't have. She goes on dialysis, gets a kidney transplant from M'Lynn, and all is fine until she collapses and slips in to a coma. Her family have to make the difficult decision to turn off her life support machine, and the remaining four ladies come together to support M'Lynn as she grieves for the daughter she's lost.

Sally Field is extremely moving as the heart broken grieving mother, and her scenes towards the end of the film never fail to make me cry. I think each of the six lead actresses play their roles perfectly, and it's impossible not to laugh and cry along with them throughout. It's my favourite feel-good movie, and I feel so content whenever I watch it.

Not convinced this film is for you? The startling and flamboyant eighties fashion is alone worth watching the movie for! There are some real monstrosities worn in this film, along with a few beauties, and the huge eighties hair is quite something! If you love eighties fashion, this movie will be a feast for your eyes.

The same can't be said for the wedding decor and bridesmaid dresses. They are quite hideous. Could Shelby's wedding be more quintessentially eighties? I think not! 

For some reason, Shelby's groom, Jackson, wanted a red-velvet armadillo groom's cake at their wedding!

This armadillo cake scene has always been one of my favourites and it's definitely one of the most memorable parts of the film.

While Steel Magnolias isn't a comedy, it's full of hilariously witty lines throughout. I probably quote this film in real life more than any other movie or TV show... because I'm sad like that...

Here are some of the best ones:

Drum: Ouiser, can we call a truce long enough for me to get a piece of cake?
[Ouiser slices him the tail piece of an armadillo cake]
Drum: Aww, thanks Ouiser. Nothin' like a good piece of ass.

Dolly Parton is just fabulous in this film!

Truvy: What are your colours, Shelby?
Shelby: My colours are "blush" and "bashful."
M'Lynn: Her colours are "pink" and pink."
Shelby: My colours are "blush" and "bashful" Mama!
M'Lynn: How precious is this weddin' gonna get, I ask you?

Annelle: I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair!

Clairee: It looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket. 
[Observing a wedding guest dancing (badly) in an ill-fitting dress.]

This scene when Annelle finds beer in her Frigidaire is another of my favourites. 

Annelle: Sammy Wayne Desoto, what is this in my Frigidaire?
Sammy: Beer.
Annelle: I don't care what you do with your refrigerator, but you will not keep liquor in mine.
[dumps the beer out in the yard]
Sammy: Oh, Annelle, for Christ's sake!
Annelle: Who? Who did you say?
Sammy: Christ, Christ, Christ!
Annelle: Are you speaking of our Lord? Is that whose name you're taking in vain?
Sammy: That's the one.
Annelle: Well, I'm sorry, Sammy. But I am not about to spend the next fifty years of my life with someone I'm not gonna run into in the hereafter.
Sammy: Oh, Annelle, goddammit!
Annelle: I think we should pray.
Sammy: Oh, I'd rather eat dirt!

This scene at Shelby's funeral is brilliant! I want to be friends with Clairee!

The best character in Steel Magnolias without a doubt is Ouiser played by Shirley MacClaine. She's a miserable,feisty, sharp-tongued women with a foul-mouth and the best one-liners. My sisters have called me Ouiser after her since childhood! I take it as a compliment because Ouiser is awesome!

Clairee talking about Ouiser.

And here are a few other favourites I couldn't find an image for online.

♥ Clairee: The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.

♥ Truvy: In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight.
   Clairee: They're eight and a half.
   Truvy: Perfect!

♥ Truvy: Well, these thighs haven't gone out of the house without lycra on them since I was 14.
   Clairee: You were brought up right.

♥ Clairee: I've just been to the dedication of the new children's park.
   Truvy: Yeah, how did that go?
   Clairee: Janice Van Meter got hit with a baseball. It was fabulous.
   Truvy: Was she hurt?
   Clairee: I doubt it. She got hit in the head.

♥ Ouiser: I'm not as sweet as I used to be.

♥ Shelby: I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.

♥ Clairee: Ouiser, I'd recognise this penmanship anywhere. You have the handwritin' of a serial killer.

♥ Clairee: The older you get, the sillier you get.
   Ouiser: Yeah, well the older you get, the uglier you get.

♥ Clairee: [trying to do "colour commentary" by discussing the colour of the football uniforms] ... But I love        the top - such a vibrant purple. Bob, would you call this colour "grape" or "aubergine'?
   Ouiser: SHUT UP!
   Clairee: What?
   Ouiser: You're makin' a fool outta yourself, Clairee.
   Clairee: I am not.
   Ouiser: This is football. All the people wanna hear about are touchdowns and injuries. They don't give a          damn 'bout that grape shit.
I stuck to the tradition and watched Steel Magnolias again this Easter Sunday. It's the perfect Easter film because it begins and ends during Easter, and has no shortage of sugary sweet pastel colours and dyed eggs to set the scene. It's a classic, the characters are all fabulous, and I never tire of watching it one more time.

If you haven't seen it before, I hope you'll check it out, and what better time to watch it than during the Easter festivities? If you like chicks flicks, I'm confident you'll love Steel Magnolias!

Did you grow up watching Steel Magnolias, like I did?

*None of the images used in this post belong to me. Unfortunately, the majority of the images I found (via Pinterest) weren't credited, so I'm unable to credit the owners. If you know who they belong to, please get in touch and I'll gladly credit back to them.


  1. Isn't this film just the best?? brilliant, funny, excellent cast of women! I LOVE it! forever! you are right, each character is brilliant, I could go on and on, blooming fantastic film! *breathe* x x x

  2. I've never seen this film but if it's got dolly in I might need to give it a watch xx


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