Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Steel Magnolias for Your Thanksgiving

So, it's Thanksgiving Week. A time for gratefulness. A time for family. A time for laughing at (I mean with!) family.

One of my favorite movie "families" has to be the cast of ladies from Steel Magnolias.

Without a doubt, some of the movie world's best one-liners come from that iconic Southern movie.

Allow me to share:

"He so confused, he doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt."
"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize."
"Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair."
"The nicest thing I can say about her is that all her tattoos are spelled correctly."
"Men. You can't live with 'em, and you can't shoot 'em."

And those, my friends, are only a few. Nearly every line of that movie is perfection. Not to mention populated by some of the finest, most talented actresses around, including the incomparable Dolly Parton.

I was reminded of Steel Magnolias yesterday, when I finally had a moment to dip into my December/January issue of Garden & Gun magazine. I love this magazine. I've mentioned this before. Mostly, it's because of the writing.

Page 33 immediately caught my eye. "Man of Steel: The untold story of Steel Magnolias," read the title, and after noticing the byline was the wry Julia Reed's, I read on.

It's an interview with Robert Harling, who wrote the original stage play "Steel Magnolias." I'd no idea one of my favorite movies began as a play! The story is based on his life in Natichoches, Louisiana, and about losing his sister. And the movie was actually shot in his hometown--as Harling says, "... in the houses and churches with the family and friends who inspired it in the background."

It's a fabulous interview, full of Harling's anecdotes about filming, about the actors (he and Dolly apparently rode around town in search of the best fried okra). But what I found most incredible are Harling's observations on the Southern women in his life, on whom the play was based. It's totally worth checking out.   

I advise buying the whole issue. But thankfully, Garden & Gun has posted the interview in its entirety online:


So as we all head out to be with our own crazy, wonderful families this week--or, heavens to Betsy, have them come to us--here's a chance to laugh. Laugh and be thankful that we've got each other.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!