Relationships: For Better or Worse
The highly acclaimed novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood eventually hit the bestseller lists for its intricately woven tale of a mother-daughter relationship. Siddalee Walker finds herself immersed in discovering her mother’s true identity, the identity that caused her a lifetime of self-doubt and guilt. Callie Khouri directed the story for the big screen in 2002 with little success. The movie version feebly adapts to the particulars of Sidda’s discovery, the plot line that is at the center of this story. Once the resolution has occurred, the audience finds itself wondering what all the fuss was about (Puig). Khouri’s alterations to the movie resulted in a loss of the complexities and depth of not just the mother-daughter relationship, but others as well while the book celebrates the richness of every interaction.
The most obvious difference between the book and the movie is the plot. In the text, the reader is plunged into a mother-daughter feud when Sidda describes her mother, Vivi, as “a tap-dancing child abuser of a mother” (Wells 3). This comment, along with many other reputation-damaging comments, leads Vivi into a pure drama queen tirade. She throws away almost every picture of Sidda and proclaims Sidda is dead to her. Vivi tells her daughter, “You are dead to me. You have killed me. Now I am killing you” (Wells 2). Vivi’s life long friends, known as the Ya-Yas, are usually quick to take her side, but unnaturally disagree with Vivi’s choice to estrange her daughter. Thus far, the motion picture stays true to the book. The movie then veers away from the book’s plot drastically; the Ya-Yas, Fionnula Flanagan, Shirley Knight, and Maggie Smith, surprise Sidda, Sandra Bullock, in h...
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