Six divas of the silver screen - Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, OlympiaDukakis and Julia Roberts - come together as bosom buddies in this hilarious and heartwarming storyof life, love and loss in a small Louisiana parish. At the center of the group is Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), newly married and joyfully pregnant, despite the fact that her diabetes could make childbirth life-threatening. Terrified and angry at the possibility of losing her only daughter, M'Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field) looks to her four closest friends for strength and laughter as she battlesher deepest fear of death in order to join Shelby in celebrating the miracle of new life.
The exclusive documentary is essentially a tribute to the memory of Susan Harling--the diabetic sister of Steel Magnolias
playwright-screenwriter Robert Harling--whose death inspired both play and film. Robert Harling's comments are warm and welcome, but several primary cast members are absent from the documentary. The "deleted scenes" are not scenes at all, but rather fragments of scenes removed for length and pacing. And while it's nice to hear Georges Delerue's isolated music score, director Herbert Ross's sparse commentary track is a guaranteed cure for insomnia. --Jeff Shannon