Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Man of Steel Magnolias

I am a grown man and I like the movie Steel Magnolias. I'm not afraid to admit it. I have liked this movie for years. Sure, it's dated, but it's still incredibly quotable. Back in my bank tellering days, a coworker and myself would randomly spout off lines from the film when we would get bored.

A couple years ago, the movie was remade for Lifetime. The remake starred Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard in the roles made famous by Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine, respectively. This version recently became available on the Netflix, so I decided to give it a look. In some ways, it wasn't as good as the late 80s version. In other ways, it was better.

But something got me thinking as I watched the familiar story. It's actually something I've thought about before. Let me set it up a bit. If you're unaware, Steel Magnolias follows the lives of six women and mostly takes place within the walls of a salon, the business owned by Truvy.

Back in the day, Dolly Parton played the role of Truvy. I remember her letting Annelle (her new employee) know that she ran the most successful beauty parlor in town. But I really have to question the validity of that statement. Throughout the movie, which takes place over the course of three years, we only see four customers coming to Truvy's. I know that repeat customers are common and very important to running a business, but are these occasional mani/pedis enough to keep the bills paid?

Also, Truvy has only one employee. Even a less than successful beauty shop will have a handful of licensed cosmetologists working several shifts throughout a business day. Need I point out she's running this place out of her enclosed carport? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it doesn't speak volumes about the financial windfall that is Truvy's.

I know, we only get brief glimpses of these ladies' lives. But I find it to be an odd coincidence that each time we step into Truvy's, these are the only customers.

I don't want to be a jerk about the movie, so I'll end with some favorite quotes...

"If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me."

"I'm not crazy, M'Lynn, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!"

"Ouiser, you sound almost chipper. What happened, you run over a small child or something?"

"I'm not as sweet as I used to be."

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