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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

4.3 20
Director: Callie Khouri

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd


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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),


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.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Callie Khouri, who penned the Oscar-winning script for Thelma and Louise, returns to "chick flick" territory for her directing debut, an adaptation of Rebecca Wells’s megaselling novels Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere. Sandra Bullock stars as Sidda, a successful, 40-ish playwright who is estranged from her mother, Vivi, a gorgeous, charismatic, alcoholic, and thoroughly unstable southern belle (played, at different stages of her life, by Ellen Burstyn and Ashley Judd). Vivi belongs to a quartet of feisty, hard-drinking matrons (Maggie Smith, Fionnula Flanagan , and Shirley Knight fill out the group) who call themselves the Ya-Yas -- a quasi-mystical sisterhood they formed as girls growing up in a small bayou town. Deciding it’s high time that Vivi and her daughter mended their fences, the Ya-Yas whisk Sidda back to Louisiana, where they reveal the secrets behind Vivi's emotional state and explain how the Ya-Yas sustained each other through life’s travails. Khouri, who also wrote the script, borrows some elements from the decidedly darker Little Altars, but the film’s story and spirit hew much closer to the wish-fulfilling Divine Secrets. There is no shortage of rueful sentimentality as the narrative veers, sometimes clumsily, between flashbacks and present-day events. Missing are the sharp details of southern provincial life that make the books (particularly Little Altars) so vivid, but the performances keep the film crackling. Judd is incandescent as the young Vivi, as is Burstyn in the character’s older incarnation, while veteran actresses Smith, Flanagan, and Knight provide delightful support. Bittersweet and funny, The Divine Secrets is a warmhearted tribute to the unbreakable bonds between mothers, daughters, and lifelong friends.
All Movie Guide
Another popular women's novel joins the sorority of Southern chick flicks with Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which counts Fried Green Tomatoes and How to Make an American Quilt among its precursors. It commits few obvious gaffes, but in a genre this familiar, with such select appeal, a film needs at least one strong departure to attain distinction. Without that, it's too much of the generic recipe, equal parts regional whimsy and tepid melodrama. One problem is that the film hasn't much to do with the sisterhood in question, nor the perfunctory mysticism that binds it together. Hence, the viewer struggles to integrate this gaggle of quirky yentas into the worthier tale of mental instability passed through the generations. It's a shame that director Callie Khouri can't make better use of Ashley Judd and the risks she takes as a mother coming unglued. Instead of the incisive directness one might expect from the scribe who wrote Thelma & Louise, Khouri fumbles Judd's illness by failing to attribute it to anything concrete, generating doubt toward the character rather than a needed sympathy. Meanwhile, Khouri opts to handle the present tense in a manner just this side of broad comedy. Picky fans may quibble with other alterations to Rebecca Wells' material, such as softening James Garner's character from dysfunctional collaborator to guiltless victim. The less discriminating ones will probably be as content as need be, and savor the film's soul-searching agenda.
Los Angeles Times
A work of excess and passion, an untidy sprawl of a motion picture that is sometimes ragged, occasionally uncertain, but -- and this is what's important -- always warm, accessible and rich in emotional life. Kenneth Turan
New York Observer
Despite the heart it wears on its sleeve, this movie brings back real women, and beneath the taffeta and the taffy, there's the actual stuff of real human conflict. Rex Reed

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; 8 additional scenes; Cast commentary with Ashley Judd and director/screenwriter Callie Khouri ; Filmmaker commentary with Callie Khouri, executive producer Lisa Stewart, producers Bonnie Bruckheimer and Hunt Lowry, editor Andrew Marcus and composer T Bone Burnett; 2 Featurette: Unlocking the secrets of Ya-Ya sisterhood; Ya-Ya sisterhood scrapbook; Alison Krauss Sitting in the Window of My Room music video; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sandra Bullock Sidda Lee Walker
Ellen Burstyn Vivi Abbott Walker
Ashley Judd Younger Vivi Abbott Walker
Fionnula Flanagan Teensy
Maggie Smith Caro
Cherry Jones Buggy
Shirley Knight Necie
James Garner Shep Walker
Angus MacFadyen Connor McGill
Allison Bertolino Little Sidda Lee Walker
Caitlin Wachs Little Vivi Abbott
Jacqueline McKenzie Younger Teensy
Katy Selverstone Younger Caro
Kiersten Warren Younger Necie
Leslie Silva Willetta
Matthew Settle Jack
Gina McKee Genevieve
David Lee Smith Younger Shep Walker
Ron Dortch Chaney
Frederick Koehler Pete Abbott
David Rasche Taylor Abbott
Boyd Kestner Actor
Mark Jeffrey Miller Lyle
Austin R. Cooper Little Shep Jr.
Sarah Huck Lulu
Alex Cooper Baylor
Alyssa May Gold Little Teensy
Mary Katherine Weiss Little Caro
Nicki Tschudi Little Necie
Deborah Hobart Aunt Louise
Clint Lienau James Jr.
David Bridgewater Dr. Beau Poche
Sarallen Older Willetta
Veda Wilson Shirley
Mark Joy Mr. Whitman
Michael Mattison Officer Roscoe Jenkins
Gillian Johnson Younger Chick
Barbara Weetman Female Interviewer
Suellen Yates Stage Manager
Don Baker Confessional Priest
E. Michael Hewett Airplane Man
Robert Longstreet Pilot
Nina Repeta Lady at Gas Station
Michael Moyer Pawn Broker
Taj Mahal Swing Band Singer
Ann Savoy Chanteuse
Ursula Burton Sister Solange

Technical Credits
Callie Khouri Director,Screenwriter
Mark Andrus Screenwriter
John Bailey Cinematographer
Debra Baum Consultant/advisor
Wendy Bell Makeup
David J. Bomba Production Designer
Karen Brigman Stunts
Bonnie Bruckheimer Producer
T-Bone Burnett Score Composer
Marty Cherrix Casting
Cheryle Cravedi Costumes/Costume Designer
Creo Special Effects
Scott Elias Associate Producer
James Edward Ferrell Set Decoration/Design
E.K. Gaylord Executive Producer
Anette Haellmigk Camera Operator
Petur Hliddal Sound/Sound Designer
Carol Lin James Stunts
John Jensen Art Director
Gary Jones Costumes/Costume Designer
Allan Kaufman Consultant/advisor
Avy Kaufman Casting
Darrell Leonard Musical Arrangement
Hunt Lowry Producer
Malcolm MacIntosh Camera Operator
David Mansfield Score Composer
Andrew Marcus Editor
Joyce Marling Costumes/Costume Designer
John Martin Stunts
Mary McLaglen Executive Producer
Donna Evans Merlo Stunts
Bette Midler Executive Producer
Tree O'Toole Stunts
Mike Piersante Sound Mixer
Tom Proper Associate Producer
Charlene Roberson Makeup
Matthew Rowland Asst. Director
Rob Simons Set Decoration/Design
Lisa Stewart Executive Producer
Michael Tackett Cinematographer
Michaell Keith Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer
Joel Voorhies Costumes/Costume Designer
Pamela Westmore Makeup
Frank Wolf Sound Mixer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
1. Ya-Ya Priestesses [4:08]
2. The Interview [2:37]
3. Cutting Sidda out [5:11]
4. Will or Pill? [5:05]
5. Her Ticket out [2:36]
6. Show'em How It's Done [3:20]
7. Princesses in Atlanta [6:13]
8. Wartime Promises [3:52]
9. Joyride [2:45]
10. The Ring [4:53]
11. Birthday Thing. Ow! [4:21]
12. Exit Jack [4:34]
13. Enter Shep [2:46]
14. Ruination by Phone [3:25]
15. Teensy / Vivi Standoff [3:06]
16. Better off Alone [2:55]
17. Hailing Mary [2:34]
18. Paved With Humility [4:46]
19. Sidda's Fears [3:08]
20. Absolution [3:23]
21. Away From Home [3:43]
22. Coin Toss [3:06]
23. Breaking Point [5:30]
24. Sure As Hell Gone [3:51]
25. Sunflower Saint [2:40]
26. Angels Aloft [6:14]
27. Answer to Her Prayer [5:38]
28. Initiation [3:53]
29. End Credits [6:01]


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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
luscious014 More than 1 year ago
I've never been more happy about online shopping. This is an amazing movie for mothers and daughters alike. I will definitely be returning to and referring this seller. Thank you.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Cute movie but it got sad. Still it is a good movie. Sandra and everyone did a good job, especially Ashley Judd. I just might read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie! I read all three books and have to say that the movie did a very good job portraying the characters, emotions and unique humor the book offers. Kudos to the director and cast!
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a chick flick, this movie was pretty good. Why they had to take Sandra Bullock out like that to explain something that she should already know was lame though. There are other parts I didn't like, but I don't want to ruin the movie for anyone that hasn't seen it. It's worth renting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood is heartwarming and vibrant. It has been labeled as a ''chic flick'' and will most likely be compared to the likes of ''Steel Magnolias'', ''Fried Green Tomatoes'' and ''How To Make An American Quilt''...all movies that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Ya-Ya is no exception here. And yes, I am a man. These movies are more than just merely ''chic flicks'', but stories of relationships, friendships and family. And to me it is a shame that such films be reserved only for women when most men could most definitely benefit from watching and enjoying them as well. Ya-Ya had an excellent storyline, as we travel through the lives of 4 girls, who in 1937, form a secret circle bond of enduring friendship. But most particularly the life of Vivi (played by both Ashley Judd & Ellen Burstyn) and her struggles in dealing with her mother's mental instability as well as her own maternal instability later in life. Her daughter, Sidda (Sandra Bullock) and her eventually become estranged and resentful...so the now aged Ya-Ya's take approprite emergency action to bring mother and daughter back together again. There are heart rending memories as well as joyous ones...and a mix of good with the bad. A true tribute to family life, and what it takes to say ''I'm Sorry''. Most worthy of owning and having in ANYONE'S collection, not just that of a lady. Buy it, and enjoy it today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie!!! It is a movie all mothers and Daughters ever where should see!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the movie.I would definitley say it's a chick flick.Guy's stay away.But girls will like it.I thought the older ladies overdid the hats a bit but I can't wait for the dvd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This so did not do the book justice. I was looking forward to watching the movie based on my adoration for the novel, but it was REALLY A DISAPPOINTMENT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Get in touch with your feminine side. Ya-Ya Sisterhood oozes with passion, hope, and the power of being a woman. Watching this film will make you wish you were a woman too!! WOW, this flick is hot!! Buy it, Watch it, Love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie to buy. You should definetly buy it!! Great performances by Sandra Bullock, Caitlin Wachs, and others.
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