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DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD

A super-sophisticated New York woman is forced to return to her roots and face up to her formidable southern-fried mom.

(Available on 11-5)

CAST: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith, Fionnula Flanagan, Shirley Knight, Ashley Judd, James Garner

DIRECTOR: Callie Khouri

"'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' offers the pleasantly groggy sensation of sinking under a down quilt and being fussed over by a group of garrulous, high-strung women...Perhaps not since 'Steel Magnolias' has Hollywood turned out a movie so resolutely for and about women...This big, blowzy movie, which opens today nationwide, is more concerned with sustaining a mood of cute chin-up sentimentality than with connecting its dramatic dots...For all its failed connections, 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' is nurturing, in a gauzy, dithering way. --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"I feel for poor James Garner, who hovers around the background of 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' like a eunuch in a harem. It's not because the men are portrayed so badly in this Dixiefied tale of estrogen empowerment--believe me, the women fare much worse-- but because he looks so darned embarrassed to have been cast in screenwriter Callie Khouri's directorial debut. And I can't say that I blame him." --Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post

"...this sprawling female ensemble movie gets beyond its horribly treacly title to offer a lush bouquet of humor and feel-good sniffles...The impressive cast tackles an abundance of showy, steel-magnolia roles. Sandra Bullock is the nominal heroine...But it is really Ellen Burstyn's movie...'Ya-Ya Sisterhood is so divine. It offers a world where friendship is forever, the half-empty glass is refilled and the men are perfect." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"... an old-fashioned (as in mid-'90s) wallow in lite Southern Gothic dysfunctionalism...As earnest and smart-alecky as an entire season of 'Designing Women,' 'Ya-Ya' is sure to score with its redemptive family melodramatics and stock eccentric characterizations... the milieu is wholly unconvincing (poverty and racism are acknowledged only insofar as they're surmounted by a food fight) and the histrionics reach a truly annoying pitch." --Mark Holcomb, The Village Voice

"... a fine cast of powerhouse pros turns a powder-puff script into a series of personal triumphs that are just next-door to unforgettable. They hit the ground running and leave the audience breathless...Sandra Bullock rarely gets the chance to prove she can act, but she gives skeptics plenty of tough jerky to chew on...a dazzling turn by the beautiful and ageless Ellen Burstyn... Callie Khouri is a woman's director who knows how to take mundane subject matter and give it a unique feel, a look all its own." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer