I understand that for some people, Steel Magnolias is sacrosanct (Just realized it isn't spelled "sacrosaint." Embarrassing.) But lets all just get on board with the fact that the movie is a bit ridiculous. I love it to the point of obsession, but one of the most featured characters is Dolly Parton. So... I think we can all get off our high horses and get onto our more reasonably-sized miniature ponies.
Also, I know that the movie is based on a play which I'm sure is much less ridiculous. Unfortunately, I only saw the live play once. And it was at my sister Emily's high school play - a York High School production.
York High School: Home of the Dukes of York. That is not a made up mascot.
"Fear the Monocle." Sigh... memories.
The things I remember from Emily's performance in Steel Magnolias:
1. My sister played the part of Ouiser, a spunky, rich, bitter yet lovable southern lady. In the movie, she is played by Shirley McClaine, aka the light of my life.
2. At one point, Emily forgot her line. She was supposed to list two annoying things that teenagers do. The first thing is something along the lines of "you have teenagers urping on your shoes" and then comes the other thing. Emily forgot the second thing. She said something like "you have teenagers urping on your shoes and... MORE teenagers urping on your shoes!"
And she was embarrassed and came up to my family afterwards talking about it. My dad said, "yeah but you improvised! No one even noticed! Improvisation is what makes someone a great actor!"
And I was like "Ohhh. I see. Emily is just so great at acting. She's so talented. This is acting. Now I really understand" Like I was such a genius. I had figured out the secret to life at age ten. I probably wrote about it in my journal because YES I WAS THAT AWESOME.
3. End of list.
So anyway, the other day I was watching Steel Magnolias and eating Meijer-brand moose tracks (as one does) and realized that the movie is ripe for a drinking game spin-off.
I felt a little guilty about making this game after I realized that the man who created the play based it off of his real experience with his sister. But... then I decided that this can be my way of immortalizing that play. By making it into a drinking game.
RULE 1. As soon as Dolly Parton gets on screen you better start drinking. Because I can think of two words that describe that woman's acting style. The first word is "forced" followed closely by "hairspray."
Don't get me wrong, I love Dolly Parton. You kind of have to love Dolly Parton.
Jan Hooks (former SNL cast member and stage mom to Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock) said that when Dolly Parton came on SNL her only rules were, "Look, okay, here's the deal. I won't use any cuss words and I won't make fun of Jesus." And that is adorable.
RULE 2: Drink when Shirley MacLaine sticks her tongue out. Or gets her mustache waxed.
By the by! Good ol' Shirley will be appearing on Downton Abbey as Maggie Smith's arch nemesis.
When I first heard the news I was all
But now I've adjusted and I'm just incredibly impatient for the spring.
RULE 3: Drink every time Dolly Parton says an "aside" joke that would be totally cute on stage but ends up super awkward on camera. Examples include:
-"There's so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money."
-"Oh, Sammy's so confused he don't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt."
-"Louie brought his new girlfriend over, and the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly. "
Here's my thing. You can't just take a play and plop it in front of a camera. Just like you can't take every movie and make it into a play. You need to change some things. But instead, the guy who wrote the screenplay (the same guy that wrote the play) kept all these little "aside" moments from the play and gave them to the one woman who doesn't really know how to deliver them.
Rule 4: Pour one out for one's fallen bretheren: the armadillo cake.
I do appreciate that they made real attempts to make her look homely. There's nothing more annoying than when movies take a hot actress and try to pass her off as a nerd. I'm looking at you, Brittany Snow circa John Tucker Must Die.
"As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast? "
Rule 6: Drink when Olympia Dukakis makes fun of Ouiser.
Rule 7: Drink when you realize that Olympia Dukakis also has a part in a great American film I like to call Look Who's Talking. I used to be obsessed with that movie. Also, lets talk about the fact that in that movie the voice of the baby is Bruce Willis. Like... if you wanted me to list the top 10 celebrities I would have NEVER picked to be the voice of a baby, Bruce Willis would be numbers 1-5. Number 6? John Gosselin.
Well done, Hannah. That was very timely. Everyone is still talking about Jon & Kate Plus 8.
Rule 8: One shot for every "oh god I wanna know WHYYY" that comes out of Sally Field's brassy magnificent trap.
Rule 9: Drink for synchronized slow hand waving.
I love it in all its forms:
Rule 10: Finish your drink before the early--90s--slow--zoom--out--with--credits--rolling--over--it finishes.
Yeah. That's a giant rabbit on the back of a motorcycle.