Last year, when Lifetime Network announced they were remaking “Steel Magnolias” with an all black cast, I wasn’t impressed. “Steel Magnolias” is one of those classic films that shouldn’t be messed with. Also, why not make an original film about black womanhood? The remake has an amazing and accomplished cast. They were wasted on this film: Phylicia Rashad (Tony Award Winner), Alfre Woodard (Academy Award Nominee), Queen Latifah (Grammy Winner/Academy Award Nominee), Jill Scott (Multiple Grammy Winner), Adepero Oduye (Independent Spirit Award Winner), and Condola Rashad ( Phylicia Rashad’s daughter. I just caught that…lol. She was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012). See…stellar cast.
I thought it was kind of half-azzed of them to just make the characters black when the film is mostly known an empowering story of white female sisterhood.
Women are all the same right? *rolls eyes*
The new “Steel Magnolias”is currently streaming on Netflix. I wasn’t in a big rush to watch it when it first came, since I thought I wouldn’t be good. I watched the film the other day, and I was right. Well, it’s okay. The original cast members made the characters so much their own, that you just can’t separate the two (or at least, I couldn’t). Also, the southern accents were all over the place. Scott was especially hamming it up. LOL. I am from the south, so I know a good southern accent when I hear it :) I will say I thought Woodard was perfectly cast as Ouiser and I actually preferred Rashad’s Shelby over Julia Roberts portrayal. Julia Roberts irks me for some reason :O/
The male characters were pretty forgettable (but I think they were also forgettable in the original film).
While they did add some cultural tweaks, I thought it was odd the film completely glossed over that the beauty salon has different connotations for black women. I thought they would have gone deeper with that. And I thought it was suspect that they kept the “there is no such thing as natural beauty!“ line in and it’s said to the black woman with natural hair. Also, it was bizarre one of the characters points out at a party that she just hooked up another character’s wig. I don’t know no black woman who would want folks knowing her business like that. LOL.
The remake just had to include an interracial relationship subplot. I have nothing against interracial relationships, but it seemed so random. As if Lifetime worried white folks wouldn’t be interested in the film if it didn’t have at least one white person in it. Ouiser is the one who gets the white love interest. Another reason why I didn’t buy it. She’s supposed to be an older black women from the Deep South. I would think it would be more complicated than she’s just a fussy old woman who doesn’t appreciate love when it’s right in front of her face.
The film also left out some major scenes from the first film, I guess their attempts to make it original :O/
Despite my bashing, the film still gets ya. I mean, anytime someone is dying and they seem like a very sweet person, you are going to be touched. It’s decent enough to check out. You just have to try hard not to compare it to the original (I failed).