Far And Away/Steel Magnolias/Stepmom [DVD]
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A triple pack of five-hankie heart warmers: In 'Far and Away' (1992) it's Ireland, 1892, and Joseph Donelly's father is shot while protesting high rents. Young Joseph (Tom Cruise) is determined to take his revenge and sets out to kill the local landlord, only to have his plan foiled when he is caught by the landlord's daughter Shannon (Nicole Kidman). She's preparing to run away to America and Joseph decides to tag along as her servant. When the pair arrive in the New World, Shannon experiences a poverty she never knew existed, and Joseph attempts to make his fortune by getting involved in the world of bare-knuckle boxing. Things are not going well for either of them, but the chance of better future still beckons, and they head out west, aiming to stake their claim in the wide open spaces of Oklahoma. 'Steel Magnolias' (1989) is a female-bonding story based around the lives of six women who regularly get together in a Louisiana beauty parlour to discuss their lives and the men that invade them. Shelby (Julia Roberts) is the youngest of the group and despite suffering from severe diabetes, plans her wedding and then the birth of her first child like any other newly-wed. Ouiser (Shirley Maclaine) is a bitter divorcee, while Truvy (Dolly Parton) is the sexy, sassy hairdresser. 'Stepmom' (1998) sees the career-minded Isabel (Julia Roberts) reluctantly take on the role of stepmother when she starts dating divorcée Luke (Ed Harris). The children's real mother Jackie (Susan Sarandon) is still very much involved in their lives, and is suspicious of Isabel's parenting skills. However, when Jackie falls ill, the two women have to reach an understanding with each other - for the sake of themselves and the children.