Steel Magnolias (Lifetime) Advance Review

Steel Magnolias (Lifetime)

Lifetime’s recent remake of the 1989 movie, Steel Magnolias, premieres tonight at 9 pm ET. With an all new cast, updated references, and set in 2012, Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias brings a fresh look to the classic movie.

The characters and plot of the movie are identical to the original Steel Magnolias. It centers around a group of female friends from a small parish in Louisiana that spend a lot of time at the hair salon owned by one of them and run out of her small garage. There the women support each other, hassle each other, laugh with each other, and cry together. One of the main characters, M’Lynn (originally played by Sally Field and played in this remake by Queen Latifah), has a daughter Shelby (originally played by Julia Roberts and played in this remake by Condola Rashad) who is a diabetic with a chronic kidney condition. Shelby’s only dream is to marry and have children, something that is difficult with her health.

Just like the original Steel Magnolias, the Lifetime version is full of talented actresses. Aside from Queen Latifah mentioned above, this remake also stars Alfre Woodward as Ouizer and Phylicia Rashad as Clairee. The actress I enjoyed the most was Jill Scott who plays Truvy. I loved every minute she was on the screen.

I was not sure what to expect with this remake. It is hard to take a classic and loved movie and breathe new life into it without constantly being compared to the original. Admittedly, that is what I did while watching Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias. Despite the constant comparison, however, the movie held its own. The all African-American cast was a refreshing change as was the way each actress portrayed her character. Even though it was a remake and even though I knew what would happen from having seen the original, Steel Magnolias reeled me in and held me captive all the way through the climax and to the end.

My advice? If you liked Steel Magnolias, give Lifetime’s version a shot tonight at 9 pm ET. If you have never seen the original Steel Magnolias, you should. In the meantime, though, check out this version. Also, whatever you do, do not forget your Kleenex! Then when you have your composure back, let me know what you thought of this Lifetime’s adaptation.

  • Sass726

    This remake is horrible.

    • Dani Bradford

      Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it. 

  • Sass726

    This remake is horrible.

  • Julia Roberts.  Who the heck is Julia Fields?

    • Sorry about the error. It has been fixed. Thanks for spotting the error.

    • Dani Bradford

      I apologize as well. I was thinking of both Julia Roberts and Sally Fields at the same time.

  • If you’ve seen the original, do not watch the remake. The first 20 minutes was unbearable. The actress who portrayed Shelby is horrible. She also makes her Shelby “bitchy”.

    • Dani Bradford

      I would agree that it was not a sweet portrayal of Shelby.

  • Nokafor

    I’m disappointed in the remake.  The connection between Queen Latifah and Condola Rashad wasn’t there.  I’ve seen the original sooooo many times and I was excited that there was going to be a remake by a African American cast, being that I’m African American myself.  Queen Latifah, as good as an actress that she is, shouldn’t have played Malynn, it would have been move believable if Phylicia Rashad would have played it and she would have had that connection with Condola, possibly.

    • Dani

      I wonder if they writers stayed away from putting Phylicia Rasha with Condola because they are mother/daughter. Perhaps that was a mistake.

  • amy99

    I so wanted to like this remake of Steel Magnolias. I hoped
    that combining a great movie with another stellar cast, that I would at least
    like it almost as much as the original, but it was disappointing. I wish I
    could say that this was just a case where the original was just so well done
    that no remake could be on par with it, but it was more than that. It felt
    phoned in. Come on! This had Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott, and
    Phylicia Rashad. I’ll usually watch anything just because it has Queen Latifah
    in it, but I had a hard time not changing the channel on this one. For such a
    stellar cast, I thought the performances were lackluster and unconvincing. Jill
    Scott was the only one that captured the essence of her character. This one just
    didn’t work.

    • Dani Bradford

      Jill Scott was definitely a stand out in this one. Sorry to hear that you didn’t like it.

  • Dascudabug

    It was a great movie, my kleenex came in handy as well!

    • Dani Bradford

      This movie always requires kleenex, at least for me.

  • Cgallegos07

    Terrible!!!! The actress that played Shelby is a horrible actress she mumbles and talks to fast. Shelby in the original was so cute and sweet and this girls is cold and almost rude. It could have worked .

    • Dani Bradford

      It was definitely a different portrayal of Shelby. It seems that upsets people the most.

  • Mario

    An all-star cast of woman all worthy of an academy award at some point, fail to recendal the magic of the original film starring Sally Field and Julia Roberts. What ruined it for me is that the original cast made those comedic lines in the original script so iconic, that it just doesn’t feel right coming from these ladies, even through they are very talented in their own right, respectively. This goes to show that even though you hire amazing actresses, sometimes a classic is better left untouched.

    • Dani Bradford

      Very true, Mario.  I am a fan of leaving originals as they were, however, this one did not grate on me as much as it did others.

  • I have never watched the original(Thank God) so I will watch this with  open mind. After this one may be I will watch the original. They were never going to be good enough since I hear the original is a classic but am ready to give these incredible under rated actresses a chance

    • Dani Bradford

      You should definitely see the original!

  • Caramelbabe87

    I have never seen the original but I loved this version of the movie, aside from the accents (I am from Louisiana, we do not sound like that). I don’t usually cry during sad movies, but my emotions overwhelmed me tonight.
    My mom saw the original movie and seem to enjoy the remake as well. She cried as well!
    The title of the movie fits, they were very strong women!
    Overall, I would rate it 4 of 5

    • Dani Bradford

      I am glad to hear that both you and your mother enjoyed it. You should also see the original.

  • Jfraychica

    Julia Fields???? Where did you go to school? This film was horrible and if you can’t even get the original Oscar nominated actresses name right you shouldn’t be allowed to write a review for any film!

    • Sorry about the error. It has been fixed. Your thoughtful and reasoned comments are always welcome. 🙂

  • Trimo_00

    This version was HORRIBLE!!!!!  Please see the original.  

  • Dizzle

    I can’t believe that this was so highly brodcasted in commercials….. this is by far a disgrace to the original cast that made this movie. If u want to “copy” the original cast, producers should really get indiviuals that can play the parts…. this movie was a joke and a waste of my time that was so “hyped” up to watch….. only to be let down, which i knew i would be all along…. last time i checked “hip hop” wasn’t ever apart of the original movie… I can’t believe that anyone who watched and loves the original isn’t as appauled at this as I am!!!!

    • Simplychanelle

      “Last time I checked “Hip hop” wasn’t apart of the original film” A quite ignorant statement frankly. Granted this remake did not demonstrate the eloquence of the 1989 version yet keep in mind the keyword “remake”. Meaning there is a chance of slight change. Therefore your disappointment with this film stems from your unrealistic expectations that this film would compare to such a classic as the original film. This remake was not meant to compete with the original film it was merely a current version of the film that represents the beautiful relationship between women.

    • Dani Bradford

      I believe this remake was trying on a different version of the movie, including the updated references.  Sorry you did not like it.

  • Megs4crazyon21

    I liked it, especially the actors making the characters their own instead of an exact carbon copy of the original…I think it was well done.

    • Tiffanyoberry

      I thought that it was too much like the original…In that, being an African American, there were little to no ethnic themes, arts, etcetera that would have given life to this script. I mean, down to the” Armadillo Cake”. What African American family you know would have used that cake???? Love you Jill and Queen Latifah… I’ll wait on a Tyler Perry movie!!

      • Dani Bradford

        It did not have as much ethnic themes as I would have expected. I am not sure why they decided to go that route.

    • Dani Bradford

      I liked it for that reason too.

  • Samadhi

    U are ABSOLUTELY right. The movie was wonderfully done. A lot of remakes are not done well. This was not one of those.

    • Dani Bradford

      Good to heat that I am not alone in liking it.

  • I did not like it…I tried, I really REALLY did…

    • Dani Bradford

      At least you tried.  Not everyone is going to like it.

  • Tonya1804

    I only “liked” the movie and the main reason was because I couldn’t get my mind around Queen Latifah as M’Lynn. Other than that, I really enjoyed it.

    • Dani Bradford

      I think that happens a lot with remakes. Glad to hear you enjoyed it otherwise.

  • Northy60

    I saw the orginal movie back in 1989 and it is my all time favorite movie, now I just finished watching lifetime version and I think it was great………………GOOD JOB

    • Dani Bradford

      Glad you liked it!

  • Katyladygolfer

    I liked the remake. In the old film, the Shelby character seemed to have no life except as a bride and then a mother. In this film, she was a nurse. I especially liked that she was in that profession, because she obviously knew the medical repercussions of her decision to have a baby.

    • Llv

      She was a nurse in the original film.

  • JulieJames

    Loved the original so much thought I would love this one, as well. ICK!!! It was bad, really bad! I am a huge fan of several of the leading ladies but even their talent couldn’t pull this remake off. Leave the originals alone and give these ladies some fresh new material!

  • Katinsak

    I had high hopes for this remake, but it fell flat. The acting was not good at all. Queen L. Had a couple of decent moments, but that’s it. It was dull and lifeless. I felt like I was watching a school play. Not a good idea to remake this classic.

  • Katinsak

    I had high hopes for this remake, but it fell flat. The acting was not good at all. Queen L. Had a couple of decent moments, but that’s it. It was dull and lifeless. I felt like I was watching a school play. Not a good idea to remake this classic.

  • Myselfalways29

    I did not like this remake at all.  Steel Magnolias is one of my favorites, so I was very disappointed!

  • Mfm0509

    Should have left it alone.

  • Keyshaprice

    Awful movie.

  • I loved the first version

    this one may have floated-but it was mis cast
    queen Latifa is great-but not in the role it was way under acted
    the rest were ok but you needed an actress in her mid to late 50’s Queen was just too young looking
    wanted to buy it-but not really

  • I loved the first version

    this one may have floated-but it was mis cast
    queen Latifa is great-but not in the role it was way under acted
    the rest were ok but you needed an actress in her mid to late 50’s Queen was just too young looking
    wanted to buy it-but not really

  • dkoy

    I am a big fan of the original and i enjoyed the remake, yes there was some things that could have been different like Jill Scott playing Truvy was a no no, but I think it was a good film and not a direct copy of the original which can be boring!!!