Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)


Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd
Director: K
allie Khouri

Rating: PG-13

Studio: Warner Bros.

Review Posted: 12.28.02

Spoilers: None


By John Teves.


The Movie


The Ya-Ya- sworn lifelong friends of Vivi stage an unorthodox "intervention" to bring daughter and mother together in this warm adaptation of Rebecca Wells' bestseller, written for the screen and directed by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise). Sandra Bullock plays Sidda and leads a stellar cast: Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd, James Garner, Fionnula Flanagan, Shirley Knight, Maggie Smith, and more. "This sisterhood is powerful and powerfully funny," The Philadelphia Inquirer's Carrie Rickey wrote: Ya-Ya to that!


YA-YA SISTERHOOD is a dull, dim-witted, overly sentimental, unintelligent and meaningless attempt at filmmaking. This film wraps up the traditional mother and daughter struggle in an extended over drawn two hour film. This is a perfect manifestation of idiosyncratic film humor with its warm messages about sincerity and companionship. A talented cast of actors couldnít salvage this film.


The Video


The film appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The disc provided a very strong visual experience. I felt sharpness was excellent; the film consistently appeared crisp and detailed, and I saw no signs of softness during the presentation.


There were no major concerns regarding jagged edges or edge enhancement. Colors appeared completely terrific. The movie offered a nicely strong and vibrant palette, and the DVD replicated these tones with breathtaking conformity. Black levels were deep and distinct, while shadow detail came across heavy but not extremely thick. Nevertheless, the film provided a solid presentation.


The Audio


The film is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Of course as one would expect in this type of film, the audio favored toward the forward spectrum. I found that the music showed a nice stereo presence all around. Audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed natural, with no concerns regarding edginess. By and large, I felt the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix complemented the film considerably well.


The Extras


- 8 Additional Scenes

-Cast Commentary by Ashley Judd and Director/ Screenwriter Callie Khouri

- Filmmaker Commentary by Director Callie Khouri, Executive Producer Lisa Stewart, Producer Bonnie Bruckheimer, Editor Andrew Marcus, Composer T-Bone Burnett and Producer Hunt Lowry

- 2 Featurettes: Unlocking the Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Ya-Ya Sisterhood Scrapbook

- Music Video: Alison Krauss, Sitting in the Window of My Room

- Theatrical Trailers




Overall, YA-YA SISTERHOOD was a bad film. The film simply lacked spirit and character. It comes across as an ordinary film and nothing more. I truly expected a great film, considering the cast of noteworthy actors that were listed. All in all, the DVD provides very good picture and some sizeable extras. Sadly, though, I canít recommend this film - it was simply horrendous.




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