Movie Reviews

Directed by Hebert Ross
Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts
Review by Matthew Toffolo


Revolving around Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana. A film about female friendship. The funniest movie ever to make you cry.


Steel Magnolias was one of three films that we owned when I was a kid growing up. The other two being Lethal Weapon 2 and When Harry Met Sally. Why we owned those films I had no idea, but I burned out the tapes after many viewings.

I had no idea what I was going to do with my life when I was 12-13 years old, All I knew is that I loved watching movies. But back then it was a world of only 5 TV channels, renting a movie at the video store was a big thing, and going to a movie theater was as rare as rain in Los Angeles. So Steel Magnolias was one of those films that I’ve seen many times. I hadn’t seen it in years until recently and it still stands the test of time.

This is a movie about friendship with a group of southern woman living in Louisiana. It could of easily been a movie about friendship of a group of athletes in a football locker room. The themes will remain the same. There is a lot of love in this movie and it was love that I craved for as a child, which is why I kept watching this film over and over again.

Only later did I realize that this is what they called a chick flick. And men weren’t supposed to watch this type of movie. So I abandoned Steel Magolias in my teenage years never to be watched again until 2009. Of course this is just silly stuff and I’m sure men would like these ‘chick flicks’ a lot more than woman do. After all, what better way understand women than to watch a movie about women?

I also grew up with a mother and two older sisters, so my influences growing up were mainly females. With their friends and other female family members, my mother and sisters formed a clan just like the women did in at the beauty shop in Steel Magnolias. A clan I attempted to join but was not welcome. They couldn’t talk the same when a boy was in presence. Of course I listened anyway as I eavesdropped on their conversations so I could hear what they talked about. A talent I formed then and continue to use to this day.

When the girls got together it was usually to talk about men and gossip about other woman. Why they were so fascinated about other people always blew my mind. After awhile the talk began a version of the same thing every time and that was when I fell in love with baseball and football. So I left the group of women behind and began to form or belong to my own male groups. In hindsight you sort of wish that there are more opportunities in life for woman and men to merge. But I guess these days there is, because almost as many men now go to beauty shops as woman do.

Watching Steel Magnolias was like watching my own mother and sisters. Except in the movie they were a lot nicer and the gossip talk always started with a rationalization to why they are speaking about someone else when they aren’t present. Gossip they did while they also learn a lot about themselves and their deep love to each other.

I loved the themes of this film and all of the performances are top notch. I always found it unfair that the male characters all had limited scenes but of course compared to almost every other Hollywood movie, this is a silly statement. Hollywood needs to tell more stories like this. And there are a ton of female actors who are ready and waiting for them.


2 thoughts on “STEEL MAGNOLIAS, 1989

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