STEEL MAGNOLIAS, 1989

STEEL MAGNOLIAS MOVIE POSTER
STEEL MAGNOLIAS, 1989
Movie Reviews

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

SYNOPSIS:

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.

REVIEW:

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.

 

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Movie Review: HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS. Starring Sally Field

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

hello_my_name_is_dorisHELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS (USA 2015) ***
Directed by Michael Snowalter

Starring: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser

Review by Gilbert Seah

The new showcase for two-time Oscar Winner Sally Field (NORMA RAE and PLACES IN THE HEART) places her in the ‘You really like me, you really, really like me” role of an sixty-plus data entry cubicle office worker, called Doris Miller. Begging to be loved, she falls for a much younger office worker, the new art director John Fremont (Max Greenfield). The question of whether she will get the young man to notice and fall in love with her is kept current from the start to the end of the film – a point that writer/director Michael Snowalter keeps as a delicate balancing act, and one that makes the film work.

Films about women falling for much younger men seldom work and end up disastrous. Examples are Genevieve Gilles playing a Baroness falling for younger Michael Crawford in HELLO-GOODBYE and Jean Simmons falling for the younger LEONARD WHITING in SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY. Even when it is the other way round, with an older male and younger girl as in the Clint Eastwood directed BREEZY with William Holden and Kay Lenz, the idea fails. So, HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS is already quite an achievement.

The film’s premise is simple enough. The film begins with Doris’s mother’s funeral. Her brother and wife wishes her to sell the house she and her mother she had cared had lived in. She declines, being a hoarder. At work, she accidentally bumps into young and gorgeous Max Fremont who ends up being the new guy in the office. She pines for him. She gets the help of her best friend’s 13-year old daughter to make friends on his Facebook account. Doris and Max hang out and Doris falls for him. Of course, the audiences is never sure of Max’s feelings for her and this is what keeps the film interesting – the audience is guessing. And right up to the very last reel.

Snowalter’s film works as both a comedy and drama. Fortunately, he keeps sentimentality at bay. Sally Field is nothing short of marvellous in the role of Doris, proving her mettle at getting both laughs and sympathy. Having won two Oscars for dramatic roles, she expectedly shines in the dramatic parts making a good balance, as in the segment she finally makes her stand against her bullying brother (Stephen Root) and wife (Wendi McLendon-Covey).

But Snowalter film plays more for comedy. The script that he co-wrote has sufficient comedic set-ups – the electronic concert party; the best friend’s Thanksgiving dinner without Doris; the inspirational seminar with guru Peter Gallagher to mention a few.

But it is Field that makes the film work, aided by really apt supporting performances from a superb supporting cast especially from Tyne Daly as her best friend, Roz. Greenfield who plays the young hunk has good chemistry with Field, supplementing Doris as the could be, could-not-be interested beau.

But mostly it is the film’s charm, credibility and humour that makes this film a cut above other films in this genre. Yes, we really, really like Doris!

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

 

 

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS, Movie Review. Starring: Sally Field

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

hellomynameisdoris.jpgHELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS (USA 2015) ***1/2
Directed by Michael Snowalter

Starring: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly

Review by Gilbert Seah

The new showcase for two-time Oscar Winner Sally Field (NORMA RAE and PLACES IN THE HEART) places her in the ‘You really like me, you really, really like me” role of an sixty-plus data entry cubicle office worker, called Doris Miller. Begging to be loved, she falls for a much younger office worker, the new art director John Fremont (Max Greenfield). The question of whether she will get the young man to notice and fall in love with her is kept current from the start to the end of the film – a point that writer/director Michael Snowalter keeps as a delicate balancing act, and one that makes the film work.

Films about women falling for much younger men seldom work and end up disastrous. Examples are Genevieve Gilles playing a Baroness falling for younger Michael Crawford in HELLO-GOODBYE and Jean Simmons falling for the younger LEONARD WHITING in SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY. Even when it is the other way round, with an older male and younger girl as in the Clint Eastwood directed BREEZY with William Holden and Kay Lenz, the idea fails. So, HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS is already quite an achievement.

The film’s premise is simple enough. The film begins with Doris’s mother’s funeral. Her brother and wife wishes her to sell the house she and her mother she had cared had lived in. She declines, being a hoarder. At work, she accidentally bumps into young and gorgeous Max Fremont who ends up being the new guy in the office. She pines for him. She gets the help of her best friend’s 13-year old daughter to make friends on his Facebook account. Doris and Max hang out and Doris falls for him. Of course, the audiences is never sure of Max’s feelings for her and this is what keeps the film interesting – the audience is guessing. And right up to the very last reel.

Snowalter’s film works as both a comedy and drama. Fortunately, he keeps sentimentality at bay. Sally Field is nothing short of marvellous in the role of Doris, proving her mettle at getting both laughs and sympathy. Having won two Oscars for dramatic roles, she expectedly shines in the dramatic parts making a good balance, as in the segment she finally makes her stand against her bullying brother (Stephen Root) and wife (Wendi McLendon-Covey).

But Snowalter film plays more for comedy. The script that he co-wrote has sufficient comedic set-ups – the electronic concert party; the best friend’s Thanksgiving dinner without Doris; the inspirational seminar with guru Peter Gallagher to mention a few.

But it is Field that makes the film work, aided by really apt supporting performances from a superb supporting cast especially from Tyne Daly as her best friend, Roz. Greenfield who plays the young hunk has good chemistry with Field, supplementing Doris as the could be, could-not-be interested beau.

But mostly it is the film’s charm, credibility and humour that makes this film a cut above other films in this genre. Yes, we really, really like Doris!

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com