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Another Look at Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias

September 14, 2012

With the Sunday, October 7 premier of the Queen Latifah-led Steel Magnolias remake on Lifetime less than a month away, the network is finally starting to release promotional materials. The interesting thing is it is looking very much like the 1989 film, the original 1987 off-broadway play and pretty much every other rendition of the classic story. So, what’s the catch? Alfre Woodard‘s Ouiser references Beyonce, but other than that, it’s sounding word-for-word. Is that the concept? That the story is so universal, it works for any race? That black women are so really not that different  than white women? I mean… let’s be honest, this is Queen Latifah’s project and while I am a fan, she’s not really the Queen of Subtlety. I guess that means I will be tuning in to see what happens and how.

The truth is, the original was great, so just doing a “cover” of the movie isn’t such a bad thing. We listen to our favorite artists sing other people’s songs all the time and cheer them on as they do. The only differences being the intonation and delivery. If that’s what Latifah (who plays M’Lynn) and the amazing cast – Phylicia Rashad as Clairee, Jill Scott as Truvy, Adepero Oduye as Annelle, Condola Rashad and Shelby and the aforementioned Woodard as Oiser – plan to do, then I actually applaud their audacity. We’ll see what happens. Below are a couple of teasers that have been floating around for a week or so.

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Not following me on Twitter yet? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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