My first experience with Steel Magnolias was looking at my mom’s eyes after she saw it for the first time. They were all red from crying, but she was smiling. So when I asked her if she liked it, she said yes, and I asked her if it was a comedy or a drama. And she said it was both.
In the movie, Dolly Parton says that laughter through tears is her favorite emotion, so I realize now that my mom had been gobsmacked by this movie. Since I’d just sat through The War of the Roses instead, I felt robbed. So I watched it on video. And then I rewound it and watched it again. And then I watched it again. And then I would just rewind that locker room scene with all the naked football players and watch that a couple times. And then I would watch it again. I think I’ve memorized Steel Magnolias by now. Which is a good thing. Because every other gay man in the city has, too.