dir. Callie Khouri
Opens Fri June 7 at various theaters.
From the moment I caught sight of the ladies jockeying for position in the long line in front of the theater, I had a very bad feeling in my gut. Granted, if my editor had offered me options--of pouring Southern Comfort in my eyes or sewing my vagina shut with dental floss, say--I might have stayed home. But he didn't [Ed. Note: You never asked!], so here I am, forced to fend for myself among hostile strangers in thrall to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
I got two chapters into the pseudo-Southern Gothic meets pop feminism bestseller before hurling it out of my apartment window onto a freeway. My best memories of the tome are of watching rush-hour traffic turn it into confetti. The members of Oprah's Book Club, on the other hand, hauled themselves off the couch en masse to witness one of their favorite novels come to life, and goddess forbid the poor soul who tries to get in the way of their catharsis. The last time I'd seen this crowd was at the launch of a new Beanie Baby.
Bravely, I elude their rapier-like French-tips and push into the packed theater, where their panting, post-menopausal breath has raised the temperature to tropic levels. The air is so electric with expectation that when the lights finally go down, the ladies applaud the announcement that the theater is equipped with Dolby sound--they were like an 11th-grade driver's ed class finally getting to see Highway of Blood... which, in comparison to this warmed-over Fried Green Magnolias, was a veritable masterpiece, mercifully devoid of hugging, burnished flashbacks to the "Greatest Generation," English grand dames choking on Cajun dialects, the bugbear of "repressed memories," hugging, the enduring power of female friendships, curmudgeonly but lovable colored servants, hugging, stoic men in pleated slacks, Sandra Bullock growing leathery and irrelevant before our very eyes, and/or macaroni crafts.
But let's be frank: The audience's joy convinced me that nothing I say or do can keep this awful movie from being a big fat hit... with your mom.