Parents' Guide to

Steel Magnolias

By Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Three-hanky special, but with lots of laughs, too.

Movie PG 1989 118 minutes
Steel Magnolias Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 2+

Well, let's just say the film was about friends who want to move on their lives and do something good.

It has everything that we're looking for in a movie like Steel Magnolias. A great cast and crew who put it all together just right under Herbert Ross' deft direction. This also marked his final collaboration with producer Ray Stark, who died in 2004.
age 16+

Parents of T1D

I used to love this movie until my daughters T1D dx. Negatively portrays T1D life. Although most likely accurate for time period, it does give T1D life a very sad portrayal. If your child (especially daughter) has Type 1 Diabetes, do not watch . If you do make sure to discuss beforehand that this was made before sensors and pumps were available to prevent such complications.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (12 ):

This movie put Julia Roberts on the map and earned her an Oscar nomination, but Sally Field steals the show and there are many other memorable performances. As two rich, rival widows, Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine are delightfully snippy, despite their deep friendship. Dolly Parton shines as a "beauty technician" and lovelorn philosopher -- her salon is the backdrop for the best scenes. And Daryl Hannah is a timid beauty school graduate who grows into her own, nurtured by these strong women.

While the main storyline is a sad one, ending with a powerful death, Steel Magnolias is really about the friendships that sustain us through life's highs and lows. This movie has plenty of heart and offers a powerful picture of kindness and compassion between women. Adolescent girls may find the friendship theme especially compelling, as they begin to depend on friends' support through their own crises, from heartbreak to the dynamics of family relationships.

Movie Details

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