Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Sandra Bullock stars as budding playwright Siddalee Walker in this story that spans sixty years. Sidda tells a reporter about her eccentric Southern mother, Vivi Abbott Walker (Ellen Burstyn), who inspires her writings. However, Vivi’s life-long friends decide it’s time to let Sidda learn the truth about Vivi. Led by Caro (Maggie Smith), Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan) and Necie (Shirley Knight) kidnap Sidda and reveal the reasons behind events Sidda saw through a child’s eyes. Meanwhile Connor (Angus MacFadyen), Sidda’s level-head fiancé of seven years, meets Vivi for the first time and discovers why Sidda acts the way she does. James Garner plays Vivi’s long-suffering husband, while Ashley Judd plays the younger Vivi in flashback scenes.
Mothers and daughters will particularly enjoy this tale of friendship, estrangement, reconciliation, and love. Ya-Ya, a colloquial expression for talk, is something these aging Southern belles do frequently. The wry comments are often humorous, but the dialogue is also laced with numerous obscenities, crude terms and God’s name used in vain. Violence is limited, but some will cringe when Vivi takes a belt to her children. Connor and Sidda live together but sexual content is suggestive rather than blatant. In one flashback, the four friends take a topless drive on a hot night, but no explicit nudity is shown. Although the sisterhood rituals seen at the first of the film seem somewhat occultic, they are in the vein of children’s make believe. Despite the positive messages about friendship and reconciliation, DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD suffers from too much vulgar ya-ya.