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Steel Magnolias

Year: 1989
Production Co: Rastar Films
Director: Herbert Ross
Writer: Robert Harling
Cast: Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard, Dylan McDermott

Back in the 1980s chick flicks were far weightier and they often had Sally Field in them, which was a step up from anyone doing this sort of film as I write this in late 2009.

If the title doesn't give the premise away, it's about a loose circle of female family and friends whose strength to pull together and support themselves and each other is inspirational, while the men mostly go about their lives in the background.

Back before any fall from favour or accusation of divadom, Julia Roberts' star was rising as Shelby, a young woman with weak kidneys who decides to go ahead and have babies despite her mother M'Lynn (Field) thinking it's a bad idea.

Friends from around their town, from the pragmatic southern fried Truvy (Parton) to the grouchy Ouiser (MacLaine), create a little community of humour, support and love around them, and while there's not a lot to talk about as far as a plot goes, it's worth seeing for a sweet story that's refreshingly free of saccharine acted out by some of the best female talent of the era.

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