Lifetime must be sick of all these straight-up remakes in the works.
That’s why they’re putting together a remake with a twist: a TV movie version of the 1989 classic “Steel Magnolias” with an all black cast.
This is a weird idea on a couple of levels.
First of all, the idea of remaking an old property with an all-black cast feels pretty outmoded in a world where Tyler Perry‘s ensemble comedies absolutely demolish at the box office.
In other words — why would top African-American talent be intrigued by the prospect of: “hey, this film did pretty well when Olympia Dukakis and a bunch of other white girls were in it. Want to have a go at it? There’s a salon, and you guys loved that ‘Beauty Shop’ movie, right?”
That’s not the kind of thing that keeps Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine and Taraji P. Henson in the room.
Another thing — “Steel Magnolias” is a movie about female friends and family members at a beauty salon. It’s not “The Fugitive.”
In order to be re-released in any fashion, it’s going to need a new script and some new plot points and… well, why not just start from scratch altogether, instead of awkwardly calling it an all-black remake?
And speaking of all-black remakes:
Let’s not point to the all-black production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” or the TV adaptation of the all-black drama “A Raisin in the Sun” or the random all-black “Hamlet” that must be out there as justification for this development.
With all due respect to “Magnolias,” a film we’ve lovingly watched many times: “Raisin” has African-American themes. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” first came out before the civil rights era, so it warranted a catch-up. Ditto for Shakespeare.
Not ditto for Dolly Parton and armadillo cake.
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