That applies to both the original and the remake. The new film retains the same story and a lot of the original dialogue, with a few modern tweaks here and there, like references to Beyoncé and Facebook, and the cast gives the marvelous ladies of the original a run for their money, particularly Alfre Woodard, who plays the cranky Ouiser with just as much sarcasm, cynicism and reluctant sensitivity as Shirley MacLaine.
But it’s Queen Latifah who was responsible for most of my whimpering. She embodies M’Lynn, a devoted mother who would do anything for her daughter (and does), with such strength and warmth. Like Sally Field, she knows when to be subtle and when to go all-out with her emotions. There reached a point during the movie when all I had to do was see her in a shot and the dams opened up again.
I think a lot of people cringed when they learned there would be an upcoming remake of such a beloved weeper. I’ll admit I was one of them. And the remake could have gone in a terrible direction. Thankfully, the people involved made a series of good decisions by hiring a stellar cast and staying true to the story. Another important thing for viewers to remember is that it’s not just a remake of a beloved movie. It’s also just another interpretation of a great play. Just as different casts put on different productions of Harling’s play to this day, Lifetime put on one of their own and televised it. Now if Lifetime could just be as true to their true stories as they are to the movies their remakes are based on…
Speaking of, praise Lifetime for giving me something to laugh at through my tears by airing Liz & Dick promos during the commercial breaks. November 25, everyone. Is the world really ready for this?