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Entertaining Chick Flick with a Sparkling Cast
on 30 January 2018
What you have here is a highly entertaining chick flick set in the deep South. Sidda (Sandra Bullock), a NY playwright about to tie the knot with longtime boyfriend Connor, has unwittingly deeply offended her mother with whom she never had a good relationship as it is. Mother Vivi (Ellen Burstyn), a deeply troubled woman with a mercurial temperament, cuts the offending daughter right out of her life and is neither intending to attend nor going to be asked to the wedding. Enter the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Vivi's lifelong friends and Ya-Ya sisters Caro (Maggie Smith), Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan) and Necie (Shirley Knight) recognize that unless they intervene, mother and daughter will not make up their differences and may never talk to each other again. And so these three ageing ladies take to the road and abduct Sidda from New York City to a shack in Louisiana where, with the help of a photo album, they fill her in on many things in her mother's life she never knew about. In flashbacks, some of them Sidda's own childhood memories, defining episodes from Vivi's (and Sidda's) life, are told.
All the main players are well cast. Sandra Bullock is rather more likable than in some of her other films. Ellen Burstyn also delivers a very solid performance that ensures her rather difficult character doesn't alienate the audience. The three ageing Ya-Ya sisters are a hoot, and Angus MacFadyen and James Garner are well cast as Sidda's fiance and father. Nice to have two thoroughly likable actors play these utterly grounded and very decent men in the lives of the highly strung female leads. Also nice that the story is such that these likable men are neither the source of the misery in the women's lives, nor are they being blamed for it.
All in all a highly entertaining flick for a girls' night in or a quiet evening on your own. It's almost worth watching just for the fun of seeing, or rather hearing, Dame Maggie Smith doing a Southern accent. As to this Southern accent, it's toned down to a great degree throughout the film and thus doesn't present much of a challenge to anybody not familiar with it. Also, optional English subtitles are available for those who need them.
The DVD is fine. Both picture and sound are good. Included are a number of extra features:
- Cast Commentary with Ashley Judd and Director/Screenwriter Callie Khouri
- Filmmaker Commentary with the director, producers, editor, composer
- Additional Scenes
- Unlocking the Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood featurette
- Ya-Ya Sisterhood Scrapbook
- Alison KraussMusic Video "Sitting on the Window of My Room"