Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is more melodramatic than emotionally truthful, and uneven in its mixture of time periods, actresses, laughter and tears.

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Movie Info

Screenwriter Callie Khouri makes her directorial debut with this adaptation of a pair of popular novels by author Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere. Sandra Bullock stars as Sidda Lee Walker, a New York playwright who opens a can of emotional worms with her estranged, boozy mother, Vivi (Ellen Burstyn), when she discusses her painful childhood and particularly Vivi's less-than-enviable mothering skills in a Time magazine article. The eccentric Louisiana drama queen Vivi has already been barred from her daughter's oft-delayed wedding to her fiancé, Connor (Angus Macfadyen), so the article sends her into a rage. Coming to the rescue of the relationship are Necie (Shirley Knight), Caro (Maggie Smith), and Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan), a trio of bickering women, who, along with Vivi, formed a secret society of feminist empowerment and friendship 60 years earlier that they dubbed the "Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The Ya-Yas kidnap Sidda and bring her home to Louisiana, where they reveal to Sidda via a carefully maintained scrapbook her mother's painful past (with Vivi portrayed in flashback by Ashley Judd), effecting a rapprochement between mother and daughter. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood also stars James Garner. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for mature thematic elements, language, and brief sensuality)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Sandra Bullock
as Siddalee Walker
Ellen Burstyn
as Vivian Jane Abbott `Vivi' Walker
Ashley Judd
as Younger Vivian
James Garner
as Shep Walker
Katy Selverstone
as Younger Caro
Jacqueline McKenzie
as Younger Teensy
Kiersten Warren
as Younger Necie
Caitlin Wachs
as Little Vivi
Mary Katherine Weiss
as Little Caro
Alyssa May Gold
as Little Teensy
Nicki Tschudi
as Little Necie
David Lee Smith
as Younger Shep Walker
Cherry Jones
as Grandma Buggy
Frederick Koehler
as Pete Abbott
Gina McKee
as Genevieve
David Rasche
as Taylor Abbott
Leslie Silva
as Willetta
Sarallen
as Older Willetta
Ron Dortch
as Chaney
Fred Koehler
as Pete Abbott
Allison Bertolino
as Little Sidda
Austin R. Cooper
as Little Shep Jr.
Sarah Huck
as Lulu
Alex Cooper
as Baylor
Deborah Hobart
as Aunt Louise
Clint Lienau
as James Jr.
David Bridgewater
as Dr. Beau Poche
Veda Wilson
as Shirley
Mark Joy
as Mr. Whitman
Michael Mattison
as Officer Roscoe Jenkins
Gillian Johnson
as Younger Chick
Gil Johnson
as Younger Chick
Boyd Kestner
as Adult Shep Jr.
Barbara Weetman
as Female Interviewer
Suellen Yates
as Stage Manager
Don Baker
as Confessional Priest
E. Michael Hewett
as Airplane Man
Mark Jeffrey Miller
as Lyle Johnson
Nina Repeta
as Lady at Gas Station
Michael Moyer
as Pawn Broker
Taj Mahal
as Swing Band Singer
Ursula Burton
as Sister Solange
Ann Savoy
as Chanteuse
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Critic Reviews for Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (37)

While there are pleasures to be had from watching so many grand actresses strut their stuff, the fact is that the overriding preoccupation here rests with surface impressions rather than psychological probity.

Full Review… | September 4, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Better make the most of the first ten minutes of this execrable melodrama (directed by the scriptwriter of Thelma & Louise), because from then on it's the yackety-yack sisterhood in spades.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Gives us a lot to enjoy and something most studio movies don't even try for: an attempt at the richness, density and sheer contrariness of life.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

As 'chick flicks' go, this one is pretty miserable, resorting to string-pulling rather than legitimate character development and intelligent plotting.

Full Review… | June 11, 2002
ReelViews
Top Critic

Khouri manages, with terrific flair, to keep the extremes of screwball farce and blood-curdling family intensity on one continuum.

June 10, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Not one character in this ovarian jungle is particularly likable.

Full Review… | June 10, 2002
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

this was a waste of time. it was well acted, but it was one of the slowest moving films i have ever seen.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

½

Very good movie. The costumes were very realistic, the acting was awesome, and it truly felt like it captured friendship.

Steven Vincent Gee
Steven Vincent Gee

Super Reviewer

½

Jumbled movie about people you have a hard time liking.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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