Chick flicks aren't all hell. Look at Thelma and Louise. So when Callie Khouri, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of that feminist firecracker, decided to make her directing debut and co-write the film version of Rebec, Sidda bitches about life with her mom, Vivi (Ellen Burstyn). Big mistake. Vivi disowns her, refusing to come to her wedding. That leaves the inevitable reconciliation in the hands of Vivi's Ya-Ya girls club: Caro (Maggie Smith), Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan) and Necie (Shirley Knight). They come to New York, drug and kidnap Sidda, and force her (and us) to endure countless confusing flashbacks to the younger Ya-Yas. Except for Ashley Judd, who shows true grit as Vivi in her babe days, the effect is like being buried in molasses. For guys whose pain threshold is way low when it comes to the bonding of Steel Magnolias, Ya-Ya is a definite no-no.
From The Archives Issue 316: May 1, 1980