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World’s Worst Chick Flick Part 6: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

January 25, 2011

Alright ya’ll. This week’s edition of The Search for the World’s Worst Chick Flick takes place in Louisiana, so you’ll have to excuse me if I start bringing out the Southern. I try not to do it too often unless I’ve been pulled over and need to get out of a speeding ticket.

If the title Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood wasn’t enough of a clue that you’re about to witness the mother of all chick flicks, there is also this little gem in the opening credits:

Title sequence

Yup—this one’s a doozy. We open with four young girls making a pact in 1930s Louisiana to be best friends forever and forming the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. We move forward and the leader of this pack, Viviane, has a daughter named Siddalee (played by Sandra Bullock) who is a playwright in New York City and giving an interview for Time magazine. She says some not-nice things about her childhood in the interview about how hard it was to live with her mother and how distant her mother was. Back in Louisiana, Viviane reads the article, gets mad, burns all her photos, and has a hissy fit the likes of which is not usually seen outside of a preschool.

The other members of the Sisterhood fly to New York City, kidnap Siddalee, and take her back to Louisiana.

Phew. We’re not done yet. Let’s take a plot break for a moment and discuss the cliche’s so far. Really, writers? New York City? Of course she goes to New York City because that’s where everyone goes when they have a bad childhood and don’t want to be like their mom. Where do kids raised in New York City go to get away from crazy parents? I’m guessing Fargo.

So Siddalee is in Louisiana and has been informed by the Sisterhood (sans her mother, who doesn’t know Siddalee’s been kidnapped) that she has the story all wrong. Siddalee doesn’t know why her mom is crazy and if she knew what had really happened, she would be okay with Viviane being abusive and neglectful.

Oh. Okay. Gotcha.

So they tell Siddalee all about Viviane’s past. And yes, she had a hard life with her own crazy parents. The love of Viviane’s life died and she married another perfectly wonderful man, but she was never the same after her true love’s death.

She had three kids and became an alcoholic and felt overwhelmed by all the responsibilities of being a mother and wife. Then she started taking some pills that made her crazy and she went away to involuntary rehab for six months.

Except her children thought she had just left. For decades they thought their mom had just left because she didn’t love them. They never knew she was in rehab.

What. The. Heck.

So here’s another example of things that burn my biscuits: Lack of communication. If her mom had been honest, then maybe Siddalee wouldn’t have spent years blaming herself for her mom’s disappearance. Honesty, people. Always honesty.

There’s a house in my town that hosts a lot of weddings. It’s a big, beautiful home that was probably the toast of the town years ago. The owners of the house seem to suffer from the same ailment as the writers of this movie. They don’t quite understand that sometimes less is more. This house is absolutely covered in gaudy decoration. Lights, fake plants, fountains, statues, arbors, topiaries—all of it. This movie is covered in every cliché, every plot fabrication, every mother/daughter issue possible. They slather on the drama and family problems like they need to keep reminding the audience why everyone is so angry.

The majority of the movie is so heavy-handed, but there are some good things in it. It’s great that these women have been best friends for all these years and have been a great support system (although one that seems to enable alcoholism, but we won’t go into that this time). And in between her periods of depression, Viviane really loved her children and gave them great memories. There is no doubt that she loved her children and just needed help that wasn’t available at the time.

But making everyone swear to never tell her children why she’d left? No. Just, no. That right there is infuriating enough that this movie earns a low rating.

Gentlemen, if any woman in your life asks you to watch this with her, then at least tell her you want something out of it in return. Like being allowed to name your firstborn child after your favorite comic book hero or getting to eat nothing but bacon cheeseburgers for three weeks. Don’t take anything less than that, because you would deserve nothing less.

Movie Scale

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Schniff Schnaff Shalomie permalink
    January 25, 2011 4:40 pm

    Noted.

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