A couple of months ago, I mentioned that up until that point I had never witnessed the actressexual treat that was The First Wives Club. Now that I've seen it (and loved it), it's time to check off another female-heavy ensemble film that I haven't seen yet: Steel Magnolias. Technically, the film's not very good- Herbert Ross films scenes from the oddest angles that don't make the least bit of sense, often obscuring actors completely when they are integral to a scene- but the delightful cast makes up for it tenfold. Everyone is perfectly in sync with each other and that makes the snappy dialogue flow so much more delightfully. Not surprisingly, my favorite performances came from the supporting divas: Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton. Nearly every line they uttered was pure comedic gold and had me cracking up with laughter. Why weren't any of them nominated for an Oscar? Oh, that's right, they didn't have any big dramatic moments like Julia Roberts did (not a bad performance, per se, but seriously?). So, in honor of these three fierce performances, here are my ten favorite quotes from Steel Magnolias involving these women.
10. "And I can also report that a mysterious car is parked in her driveway at least once a week..."
"There. My secrets out. I'm having an affair with a Mercedes Benz!"
Oh, Shirley MacLaine, you're so ridiculous.
9. "Truvy, you know what you need in here? You need a radio, takes the pressure off of everyone feeling they have to talk so much."
"I had one once, but I threw it up against the wall when I couldn't figure out where the batteries went. I know now I was suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome."
I, for one, would have loved to have seen Dolly Parton throw a radio against the wall. Alas, this line reading will have to do, and it's nearly as good as the real thing.
8. "I'm pleasant, damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton at the Piggly Wiggly this morning, and I smiled at the son of a bitch 'fore I could help myself."
It's frightening how much Ouiser and I have in common. I'm 99% sure I'm going to end up like her when I'm in my old age.
7. "Janice Van Meter got hit with a baseball. It was fabulous."
What an introduction to Olympia Dukakis' Clairee! I don't know what I expected from Dukakis, but I never would have guessed she could be this mean-spirited and fun at the same time.
6. "There's so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money."
You and me both, Dolly. You and me both.
5. "Louie brought his new girlfriend over, and the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly."
What snark! Why doesn't Dolly Parton act more? She is absolutely brilliant here.
4. "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for the last 40 years!"
...And the similarities continue with Ouiser continue (substitute 40 years with 10 in my case, though).
3. "Well, you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"
This is my philosophy. I'm a total gossip, what can I say? I'd love to have a chat with Olympia Dukakis.
2. "Ouiser, you sound almost chipper. What happened today - you run over a small child or something?"
Besides myself, Ouiser also reminds me a lot of my friend's grandmother (the same one I want to be played by Dame Julie Andrews) and just imagining her push a child out of the way- which I've seen her do once- makes me giggle everytime.
1. "A lot she cares. Ousier's never done a religious thing in her life."
"Now that is not true. When I was in school, a bunch of my friends and I would dress up as nuns and go bar-hoppin'."
The funniest line in the whole movie. It came out of nowhere and on paper doesn't sparkle as much as some of these others, but Shirley MacLaine delivers the hell out of it like the pro she is. I was laughing for about a minute straight.