Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (2002)

This is based on the book by Rebecca Wells and was adapted into a mildly successful chick flick in the box-office. This easily disappeared but its hard to figure out why. I rather enjoyed this film. It’s a good movie about the bond between a mother and daughter and how you can never truly know your parents as much as you think you do. Sandra Bullock is great as Siddalee Walker, the angry and disgruntled woman who has a cross to bear with her mother and often exhibits the corky odd traits her mother does. She’s terrible in relationships because she fears she may take the same path as her mother did when she was younger.

The “Ya-Ya” sisters feature a bevy of top-notch actresses such as Shirley Knight and Dame Maggie Smith. They’re excellent characters who give great chemistry with Burstyn and Bullock; they all grew up together as young girls and experience lots of woes and conflicts throughout their childhood. We get to learn alot about Burstyn’s character who, on the outside seems like a wacko; she breaks out in a fits of screaming rage and often disowns her kids constantly. We get to see how she became that way through misty and often heart-breaking flashbacks as, my sweetheart, Ashley Judd aptly plays the young Vivi. Vivi, is somewhat of a tortured character as she loses her husband in the war and is forced to live with a man whom she doesn’t truly love (James Garner  Maverick) yet he sticks with her because he feels an obligation to care for her and his daughters.

Possibly the single sane and best character in the story is Siddalee’s fiance Connor (Angus McFayden  Styx, Equilibrium) who is the only truly straight-minded character who dares to speak up to most of the characters and tolerate Siddalee’s corky behavior. He is one also who fears she may go down her mother’s path so he lets the “Ya-Ya” sisters take her captive and they tell her the secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood. What is a ya-ya exactly? Your guess is just as good as mine. Much of the movie is pretty sappy with storylines and plot devices that seemed rather far-fetched and just plain cheesy at times. The characters, though very well written, are also a lot to take at times and are sometimes unbearable. We never truly get an emphases on Vivi’s tortured life as a child and young adult and we never really learn much about the “Ya-ya” sisters’ true bond as friends except some parts in this. I didn’t feel the bond enough. In the end we get a bittersweet tale of love lost, relationships, and family as “The ya-ya sisterhood” is a surprisingly good movie. Think I’ve said “ya-ya” enough?