There are a lot of very good classic 80s movies but my favorite is a comedy-drama – Steel Magnolias. It was written by Robert Hailing as an off-Broadway play in 1987. It was released as a movie in November of 1989 by Tri-Star Pictures. It takes place in the small fictional town of Chinquapin, LA. I have seen this classic 80s movie at least 20 times and I still laugh at the funny parts and cry at the sad parts. Perhaps my move to the south has given Steel Magnolias new life and new meaning to the movie for me. I have written several eighties movie reviews but this one I enjoyed the most.
Steel Magnolias revolves around a group of southern women, all friends and neighbors who frequent Truvy’s Beauty Salon. Truvy’s is the gathering spot for the gang. They go there for the company more than for the hairstyles.
Truvy Jones is played by Dolly Parton. Her friends and customers include: M’Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field), Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley McClain), Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis), M’Lynn’s daughter Shelby Eatenton Latcheri (Julia Roberts) and Truvy’s employee who is new to the south, Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). There are a few men in this classic 80s movie, husbands and/or boyfriends, but they are side dressing as the woman rule in this movie. Julia Roberts received her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this fine film.
This classic 80s movie opens with preparations for Shelby’s marriage, a true southern wedding with magnolias floating in the swimming pool and a traditional groom’s cake. The groom’s cake was a red velvet cake in the shape of an armadillo, ugly but probably tasty! A lot of time is spent at Truvy’s Beauty Pallor where Shelby displays symptoms of her type 1 diabetes, which causes wedding day drama for the bride and her guests. The wedding comes off fine and lives move on.
Things progress nicely until Shelby goes against her doctor’s wishes and becomes pregnant. She has beautiful little boy, Jack Jr. The pregnancy took its toll on Shelby and death comes too soon for the beautiful young mother. Although M’Lynn donated a kidney to Shelby it did not save her life. It was sad, as you would expect, but it was extremely well done. The friends stick together and with a lot of tears and laughter help M’Lynn grieve and get through the process. They become better friends because of the shared pain.
The film ends on a high note as the whole gang attends an old fashioned Easter Egg Hunt. Easter is a time for renewal, celebration and hope for the future.
If I have intrigued you with this eighties movie review you may want to buy yourself a copy. Then grab the tissue box, get comfy on the sofa and enjoy the watching the friendships grow, strengthen and develop between the ladies. I have listed several links where you can purchase Steel Magnolias along with other classic 80s movies.
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Personal viewing by Greenhill