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Steel Magnolias: Two Things I Don't Understand

I have two unanswered questions about Steel Magnolias that have been bugging me for 30 years that I cannot find an answer to!

First: Why does Annelle (Daryl Hannah) go back to being prim and religious in the third act of the movie, after spending the second act being sexy and free? Do we ever get an answer?

Second: In the first act - in Truvy's salon - why does Julia Roberts a) act like a bitch during her diabetic attack and b) reject the juice ("drink your juice, Shelby."). While I could quasi understand the being a bitch is anger at what she sees as her mother's hovering, and the rejection is anger that this is happening on her wedding day ("why me!? On this day!"), don't you think she'd recognize she's having an attack and just drink the damn juice willingly to get herself into a better place TO get married. It never made sense to me.

by Anonymousreply 87November 30, 2021 2:42 AM

Annelle sinned in Shreveport.

by Anonymousreply 1November 26, 2021 4:22 PM

She acted like a bitch because she wanted to play against type.

by Anonymousreply 2November 26, 2021 4:27 PM

You don't act like anything during an insulin reaction... you're out of control and not responding rationally.

As I recall, Annelle accepted an invitation to a bible camp weekend and went and thereafter began the process of conversion until Jesus totally took the wheel.

by Anonymousreply 3November 26, 2021 4:31 PM

Shelby was on the rag that day.

by Anonymousreply 4November 26, 2021 4:34 PM

OP Annelle becomes prim and religious after the bible camp. She doesn't "go back" to it. At the beginning she is essentially a homeless woman whose belongings have been taken and she is living in the southern version of an SRO at Ruth Robilene's. She questions the validity of her marriage as a function of her ex's criminality, so you could infer that means some kind of religious allegiance. She has clearly been around a gun when something bad went down "Is my life in danger?" The real religion starts after the bible camp though: "was she praying?" "not on your first visit" and her monologue after Shelby's death.

In the opening with the juice, Shelby and M'Lynn are caught in the death grip of M'Lynn being concerned that Shelby is making the same mistake with her marriage that she did and she's powerless to stop it. Shelby wants to get out from under her mother's micromanagement, live as an adult, and flee the paradox of M'Lynn's social-working background where she has the answers to everyone's problems and is able to relate to, be loved by, and help everyone but her own daughter. The scene has about ten things where they clearly strongly disagree and are affecting some kind of detente during their visit to Truvy's prior to the wedding that day. Shelby hates that her mother is right in terms of her practical, no nonsense approach to managing Shelby's diabetes.

Shelby the nurse thinks she's invincible because she's young and that she'll be the exception who survives childbirth without complications in her medically dangerous situation. That arrogance kills her and leaves her child motherless. The digs at Jackson about him being more or less a sperm donor father who makes the money but doesn't have to do the hands-on child raising turn out to be true, as do the warning signs "I thought it would help" of trouble before they even get married. Harling doesn't make Jackson a total villain though with the whole "we'll buy one" thread; the truth would be more likely that someone like Jackson would want the child to be his own flesh-and-blood as a marker of his manhood and potency.

by Anonymousreply 5November 26, 2021 4:58 PM

Can someone explain why Annelle’s two brothers do not get any older throughout the course of the film? TIA!

by Anonymousreply 6November 26, 2021 5:34 PM

Not Annelle. Shelby!^

by Anonymousreply 7November 26, 2021 5:34 PM

R6 what’s the course of the film? 3 years. I can’t believe your question omg

by Anonymousreply 8November 26, 2021 5:39 PM

It was clear it was clear to me that one of the brothers was a good friend of Marshall Marmillion, even though he liked to toss around a football. Neither of them seemed to have any romantic interest in women.

by Anonymousreply 9November 26, 2021 6:05 PM

Considering one of the brothers must be based on Robert Harling, I think you may be on to something, r9.

by Anonymousreply 10November 26, 2021 6:16 PM

Just two, dear?

I never understood why someone didn’t put Ouiser out of her misery. The woman was batshit crazy.

by Anonymousreply 11November 26, 2021 6:35 PM

^Because she was rich.

by Anonymousreply 12November 26, 2021 6:48 PM

Shelby was a self centered cunt.

by Anonymousreply 13November 26, 2021 6:55 PM

R5 has done his homework.

by Anonymousreply 14November 27, 2021 6:15 AM

JezeBEL.

by Anonymousreply 15November 27, 2021 6:23 AM

Irritability is a major and extremely common symptom of low blood sugar in diabetics, and there's quite a bit of evidence that cognitive ability is affected as blood sugar drops. Shelby isn't just a cunt, her ability to make rational decisions is hampered by her difficult-to-control blood sugars.

No one on any of these threads ever seems to realize that's part of what's going on in the movie, they all think it's just women hating other women.

by Anonymousreply 16November 27, 2021 6:29 AM

I need to rewatch this.

by Anonymousreply 17November 27, 2021 11:21 AM

There’s a great interview with Wally Lamb on the Blu-ray that talks about how the Shelby character was based on his own sister who died at a young age. It’s very poignant.

by Anonymousreply 18November 27, 2021 11:27 AM

R5 Obviously starred in their high school production of Steel Magnolias and had THAT drama teacher who spent a lot of time on back story and motivation for each scene and made sure EVERYONE understood it.

by Anonymousreply 19November 27, 2021 11:38 AM

I don't get why Dl thinks Sally is to over the top during the burial, most parents Don't want to bury their children and she's grieve stricken.

by Anonymousreply 20November 27, 2021 12:30 PM

Was the brother farting in church really necessary?

by Anonymousreply 21November 27, 2021 12:42 PM

Oh FFS, it was 30 years ago and it's only a fuckin movie

by Anonymousreply 22November 27, 2021 12:52 PM

[quote]Why does Annelle (Daryl Hannah) go back to being prim and religious in the third act of the movie, after spending the second act being sexy and free? Do we ever get an answer?....Second: In the first act - in Truvy's salon - why does Julia Roberts a) act like a bitch during her diabetic attack and b) reject the juice.

Why? Because it's written that way.

by Anonymousreply 23November 27, 2021 12:53 PM

Get back to your track lighting, R22.

by Anonymousreply 24November 27, 2021 1:04 PM

There's no way Julia deserved an Oscar nomination for this

by Anonymousreply 25November 27, 2021 1:31 PM

What I remember is that it is unbelievable that women of such diverse backgrounds would be friends in a Southern town. The upper class women might be friendly with the owner of the beauty parlor (she was at least a businesswoman) but they would have barely given her assistant the time of day.

I am from the rural border South.

And why did said beauty parlor assistant get Religion. Cause she had nothing else to make her even half respectable. That's what poor people do in the South. The movie got that right.

by Anonymousreply 26November 27, 2021 1:45 PM

Was Shelby farting when she was in her coma really necessary? Christ, in every scene starting with her laying on the back stoop. Sounded like a circus full of balloons deflating everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 27November 27, 2021 2:14 PM

The crew called it Steel Drum Magnolias.

by Anonymousreply 28November 27, 2021 3:04 PM

They explain it quite well. In Truvy's shop, M'lynn sees her praying. She asked Truvy, was she praying? Truvy says uhuh. M'lynn asked her why. "I don't know maybe she was praying for Belle, maybe she was praying for us because we was gossiping, maybe she way praying because the elastic is shot in her panties, I don't know, she prays at the drop of a hat. M'Lynn asks How long has she been like this. Truvy tells her since Mardi Gras. She had a chance to go down to New Orleans with Me and a bunch of sinners but she chose to go to a Bible Camp. Anelle was out getting towels while all this was happening and M'Lynn clears her throat as she sees her returning.

by Anonymousreply 29November 27, 2021 3:57 PM

[quote] what’s the course of the film? 3 years. I can’t believe your question omg

The brothers are both teenagers so it’s realistic to expect a growth spurt…or at least a different haircut.

by Anonymousreply 30November 27, 2021 4:36 PM

[quote]There's no way Julia deserved an Oscar nomination for this

But she was nominated Blanche, she was....maybe this will cheer you up.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 31November 27, 2021 4:43 PM

The way a diabetic explained it to me is that acting like that is your subconscious' way of protecting itself. Didn't really make sense to me either but I didn't want to pry.

by Anonymousreply 32November 27, 2021 4:48 PM

I always wonder if Princess Diana was a Steel Magnolia instead of an English Rose, might she have survived that car accident? Roses are just so fragile.

by Anonymousreply 33November 27, 2021 5:47 PM

"The brothers are both teenagers so it’s realistic to expect a growth spurt…or at least a different haircut."

Chronic mutual masturbation stunts growth.

by Anonymousreply 34November 27, 2021 6:45 PM

When are they releasing the tv series on streaming? I used to own seasons 1 through 13 on dvd but a trick stole them in 2010.

by Anonymousreply 35November 27, 2021 6:54 PM

She mended her whoring ways when she found out she wasnt making any money at it.

by Anonymousreply 36November 27, 2021 7:02 PM

What the fuck kind of name is M'Lynn?

by Anonymousreply 37November 27, 2021 7:29 PM

No idea.

by Anonymousreply 38November 27, 2021 8:16 PM

[quote] "What the fuck kind of name is M'Lynn?"

I've costumed this show, and I remember there being discussion about it being a nickname/shortened version for/of "Mary Lynn", but I can't recall how much truth there is to that.

by Anonymousreply 39November 27, 2021 8:33 PM

I remember thinking I couldn't wait for Shelby to die and I didn't even know she was going to.

by Anonymousreply 40November 27, 2021 8:43 PM

That poor guy Anelle was married to! Plus she went full on frau fast.

Jackson was an asshole. More concerned with having a son and heir than his wife's health. He'd be married in less than a year.

Whoever thought Julia would look good in short hair should be shot.

by Anonymousreply 41November 27, 2021 9:15 PM

[quote]What the fuck kind of name is M'Lynn?

A Southern way of saying Marilyn.

by Anonymousreply 42November 27, 2021 9:20 PM

[quote]I am from the rural border South.

Can someone translate?

by Anonymousreply 43November 27, 2021 9:26 PM

r43 HeeHaw

by Anonymousreply 44November 27, 2021 10:17 PM

I'm thinking not American R43.

by Anonymousreply 45November 27, 2021 10:42 PM

You must be a Yankee.

by Anonymousreply 46November 27, 2021 10:47 PM

I have the script to the play. At some point either Ouiser or Clairee addresses her (scolding her) as Mary Lynn.

by Anonymousreply 47November 27, 2021 10:50 PM

Julia Roberts's southern accent is so bad. I don't mind her in the role accept for that.

by Anonymousreply 48November 27, 2021 11:02 PM

Roberts was born in Georgia and lived there all the way through college age, R48. It's Dukakis who wins the terrible fake Southern accent award in that film.

One hilarious thing that has always slightly irked me in the film is that after a whole movie of classical framing and smooth, basic, unpretentious camera moves, Herb Ross shoots Sally's cemetery monologue with a shaky handheld, as if it were so spontaneous and raw that he couldn't have captured it on film any other way, like lightning in the proverbial bottle that only happened the one time.

In truth, even 30+ years ago, Field was a consistent enough performer that if Ross had said, "Cut! OK Sal, back to one...let's have another take." I bet she would have said "Ok, Herb!" and gone right back to her starting mark, given more or less the exact same performance, and probably even made the shots match. Not for nothing those three seasons of The Flying Nun and one season of Gidget.

by Anonymousreply 49November 27, 2021 11:27 PM

[quote]Roberts was born in Georgia and lived there all the way through college age, [R48].

Then why the fuck is she falling out of her accent half the time?

by Anonymousreply 50November 27, 2021 11:29 PM

Steel Magnolias 2 - Shelby's short hairdo awakened Jackson's feelings for men. He starts a torrid affair with Marshall Marmillion, who is fucking Jack Jr. on the side.

by Anonymousreply 51November 28, 2021 12:07 AM

[quote]He starts a torrid affair with Marshall Marmillion, who is fucking Jack Jr. on the side.

Not Mark, Rick or Steve?

by Anonymousreply 52November 28, 2021 12:12 AM

"Shelby hates that her mother is right in terms of her practical, no nonsense approach to managing Shelby's diabetes."

That's too common among young diabetics, they don't want to "... let the diabetes run my life!".

by Anonymousreply 53November 28, 2021 12:13 AM

One thing I hate is when M'Lynny Field is told Chucky is at Ain't Fern's after Julia Roberts dies and M'Lynny runs out like somebody said he's with Mrs. Patsy Ramsey, formerly of Boulder, CO. Ain't Fern isn't going to harm that child but you'd never know it the way she carries on.

by Anonymousreply 54November 28, 2021 12:19 AM

R52, that's the plotline for Steel Magnolias Part 4some

by Anonymousreply 55November 28, 2021 12:21 AM

Would M’Lynn and Drum (god, I hated typing that) have supported one of the sons being a homosexual? Would Shelby have been a gay ally?

by Anonymousreply 56November 28, 2021 1:23 AM

The author of the play based it on people he knew in the south- He is supposd to be one of Belle Marmillion's sons. The blonde one you see in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 57November 28, 2021 1:28 AM

The one carved out of cream cheese?

by Anonymousreply 58November 28, 2021 1:32 AM

I wonder if you saw a version that had been cut to hell and back due to commercial breaks. That might explain some plot holes.

by Anonymousreply 59November 28, 2021 1:34 AM

It's quite something that the most intelligible names of all the characters in this shlockfest are Anelle and Jackson.

by Anonymousreply 60November 28, 2021 6:45 AM

[quote] Roberts was born in Georgia and lived there all the way through college age, [R48]. It's Dukakis who wins the terrible fake Southern accent award in that film.

I agree with R48. It’s like whenever Cybill Shepherd does a southern accent…she was born and raised in Memphis yet still manages to lay it on too thick somehow.

by Anonymousreply 61November 28, 2021 6:51 AM

Anyone else notice that Jackson sets the baby down next to a hot stove with sauce boiling over in the pan? The sauce is splattering all over but Jackson doesn't bother to turn the stove off or remove the pan. He sets Jack Jr down and runs outside to Shelby.

by Anonymousreply 62November 28, 2021 10:32 AM

R54, it’s all part of Sally Field’s extreme overacting throughout the film.

by Anonymousreply 63November 28, 2021 2:06 PM

r58 Yes, they are family and I love them but they all look like they have been carved out of cream cheese.

by Anonymousreply 64November 28, 2021 2:23 PM

[quote]Herb Ross shoots Sally's cemetery monologue with a shaky handheld, as if it were so spontaneous and raw that he couldn't have captured it on film any other way, like lightning in the proverbial bottle that only happened the one time.

I always thought Ross realized he wasn't going to get that level of histrionics from Field a second time so he grabbed it while he could, R49.

And it was hardly "lightning in a bottle", it was bad overacting.

[quote]In truth, even 30+ years ago, Field was a consistent enough performer that if Ross had said, "Cut! OK Sal, back to one...let's have another take." I bet she would have said "Ok, Herb!" and gone right back to her starting mark, given more or less the exact same performance, and probably even made the shots match.

That's a big fat nope.

by Anonymousreply 65November 28, 2021 3:28 PM

Could Stephen Sondheim have turned Steel Magnolias into his ultimate commercial and successful musical?

by Anonymousreply 66November 28, 2021 3:30 PM

Not anymore, R66.

by Anonymousreply 67November 28, 2021 3:34 PM

R49 and R65, Sally Field did multiple takes of that scene and did them all full out.

by Anonymousreply 68November 28, 2021 3:39 PM

^and she gave the same hammy performance when she guest starred as Maura Tierney’s mother on E.R. Except she exchanged “Shelbbbby!” for “Abbbby!” 🍖

by Anonymousreply 69November 28, 2021 5:09 PM

I find Sally's voice so babyish... it was hard to take her seriously as the firm southern mama, let alone during the meltdown scene.

by Anonymousreply 70November 28, 2021 5:15 PM

Prove it R68.

by Anonymousreply 71November 28, 2021 7:08 PM

^ Sally Field in Eye for An Eye

by Anonymousreply 72November 28, 2021 7:16 PM

I was told that when it occurred by someone who was there on the set when the scene was filmed. Sorry I don't have the film footage to show you, R71. Perhaps you can contact someone at Tri-Star and have them find and screen the outtakes for you.

by Anonymousreply 73November 28, 2021 7:33 PM

The theme music was perfect . It really sets the scene for a lazy summer day in the South.

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by Anonymousreply 74November 28, 2021 9:48 PM

That tacky wedding was cringeworthy. You can tell who the locals hired for the dancing are by the hideous hair and clothes.

by Anonymousreply 75November 28, 2021 9:57 PM

[quote]I was told that when it occurred by someone who was there on the set when the scene was filmed. Sorry I don't have the film footage to show you, [R71]. Perhaps you can contact someone at Tri-Star and have them find and screen the outtakes for you.

Actually you reported it, that would be your job. We'll wait.

by Anonymousreply 76November 28, 2021 10:42 PM

[quote]I was told that when it occurred by someone who was there on the set when the scene was filmed.

A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, R73?

It was a one in a million that he got those histrionics out of her in the graveyard scene.

by Anonymousreply 77November 28, 2021 11:47 PM

Actually, R76, that would be your job. I know what I wrote is true. If you choose to believe it's wrong, prove otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 78November 29, 2021 2:12 AM

No, R77, a close friend who was there for all of it. I know people on Datalounge like to state the worst about people to compensate for their own low self-esteem but Sally Field is a skilled and technically proficient actress.

by Anonymousreply 79November 29, 2021 2:17 AM

Sally Field has an impeccable reputation. The industry likes her, they really really like her.

by Anonymousreply 80November 29, 2021 10:06 AM

The graveyard meltdown scene was too much like Sybil’s “it’s not true” scene. It was hard to not be reminded of it.

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by Anonymousreply 81November 29, 2021 1:46 PM

Thank you R81. I was thinking about looking for scenes like that to post here.

PAPER IS VALUABLE!! PAPER IS VALUABLE!!

by Anonymousreply 82November 29, 2021 1:55 PM

Once you lose the accident it's hard to get it back authentically, r50.

I'm showing my age and proclivities here but I remember Lee Horsley saying in an interview that he'd worked hard to tone down his accent, then had to get it back for "Matt Houston" and had trouble doing it.

by Anonymousreply 83November 29, 2021 2:02 PM

[quote]M’Lynn

I always thought it was a shortened version of the double-barreled name "May Lynn."

by Anonymousreply 84November 29, 2021 2:08 PM

Once you lose the accident? Oh Dear.

by Anonymousreply 85November 30, 2021 12:56 AM

[quote]Once you lose the accident it's hard to get it back authentically

Yeah, try and try as I might, once that car was totaled in the middle of that four-car pileup, I just couldn't get it back. So, I was forced to get a new one with the insurance payout.

by Anonymousreply 86November 30, 2021 1:38 AM

Beautiful

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by Anonymousreply 87November 30, 2021 2:42 AM
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