starring Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner
screenplay by Callie Khouri (with Mark Andrus), based on the novel by Rebecca Wells
directed by Callie Khouri
by Walter Chaw Tennessee Williams by way of Oprah's Book Club, the only thing more intolerable than reading the hideously popular Rebecca Wells novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is watching Callie Khouri's equally shrill and unpleasant film of it. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood makes assumptions about the stupidity (and cupidity) of women that are unjust and hateful while painting men as paternalistically indulgent, a roll of the eyes and a pat on the hand apparently the best and only way to deal with women when they're being insane and abusive. It doesn't even need to be said that in films of this type women are always being insane and abusive--that is when they aren't being insipid and cutesy. It's bad in the book; after the shorthand and the compressions, it's infinitely worse in the film. It is, after all, now pure and unfiltered.