Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
"Male characters — heard of but never seen onstage — turn up in the persons
of Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard, Dylan McDermott and Kevin J. O’Connor. But men are
not the point in this film. 'Steel Magnolias' belongs to its actresses, who have
tapped into some fundamental truths about the strength women derive from one
another. Stale contrivances can’t stop them. The ladies are live wires. Just
stand back and watch them set off sparks."
"Director Herbert Ross times every gag and tear to perfection, but he fails to
find enough for the guys to do, which is a shame as Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard
and Dylan McDermott are all good enough actors to give strong performances
without having to hold centre stage. This is a little too dependent on sassy
one-liners and is awash with sentiment by the end, but is still wonderful
Angie Errigo, Empire Online:
"Dolly Parton is on safe ground as gutsy, good-hearted, hair-teasing Truvy,
rejoicing in some hilarious one-liners and the opportunity to roll in the sack
with Sam Shepard. The inclusion at all of the oft-discussed husbands, lovers and
sons is half-hearted. Shepard blinks in and out to little effect and only Tom
Skerritt as Fields’ husband creates a real presence."
Erickson, DVD Talk:
"The movie opens up the play to include the men in these women's lives as
well as a snapshot of Chinquapin across a couple of years' worth of beautiful
Louisiana seasons. But the story still sticks close to an interesting, amusing
group of women. Working out of her garage, hairdresser Truvy Jones (Dolly
Parton) freely admits that she wants to hear every bit of news from around town.
Her husband Spud (Sam Shepard) is fatally handsome but chronically unemployed."
Chris Hicks, Deseret News:
"What gives the movie its energy is clearly the star power involved. All the
actors here are good in their roles, but the standouts are clearly Parton in a
subdued, realistic down-home performance, and MacLaine, in a flamboyant tour de
"Robert Harling’s play is set solely in the beauty parlor where his heroines – a
group of the liveliest, warmest Southern women imaginable – gather to dish dirt,
crack jokes, do hair and give one another some solid, post-feminist emotional
Heather Bremer, The Herald Bulletin:
"'Steel Magnolias' is blessed with both a light heart and meaningful soul and
serves a moving tribute to the relationships women share and the sacrifices they
make for their families."