In a world of global warming, terrorism, economic inequality, dead bodies being stuffed into SUVs, and SUVs being stuffed into dead bodies, sometimes all we need to get through the day is a smile from a stranger, a warm handshake, or an all-black remake of Steel Magnolias on premium cable television to reassure us that everything is going to be all right.
Thankfully, Lifetime Network feels your pain: execs at the network are currently developing a reboot of the 1989 chick flick classic, which follows six women sharing their thoughts on life, love and loss in a small-town Louisiana beauty parlor. The film, which will be directed by Kenny Leon (who also directed 2008's ABC film A Raisin in the Sun), will be set in the present day, featuring an all-star cast of women of color.
If you have yet to see Steel Magnolias, I strongly urge you to do so. Based on a play of the same name by Robert Harling, the film (which stars Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts) is warm, witty, and relentlessly uplifting. If you do not cry during the last few scenes, you are a heartless cyborg who should be pitted against another heartless cyborg in a Mad Max-style cage match of emotion.
Furthermore, because the original film is so lily-white, an updated version with all-black cast could add another layer of nuance and meaning to the Southern-fried sobfest. The casting possibilities are endless — Queen Latifah as Truvy? Viola Davis as M'Lynn? Beyonce as Shelby? (Please oh please Television God, let Beyonce play Shelby!) — so grab a couple boxes of Kleenex and get ready for your heart to feel like it's being ripped out of your chest and plunged into a deep fryer.