Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002

Critics score:
44 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News: A rich, thoroughly engaging drama that is by turns funny, wistful, phantasmagorical and disturbing. Read more

Renee Graham, Boston Globe: Sure, it's contrived and predictable, but its performances are so well tuned that the film comes off winningly, even though it's never as solid as you want it to be. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Fans of such stuff ... will probably find Divine Secrets a delicious before-bed treat, just as they did the novel; for the rest of us, it's just reheated Fried Green Tomatoes. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood aren't all that divine, and in the end they're not terribly compelling, either. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: [T]here's alcoholism, there's child abuse, there's all sorts of tragedy, but it's handled in a sitcom manner, which is completely wrong for this material. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Not that there's nothing to enjoy about Divine Secrets, but it too frequently veers into screechy melodrama or artificially drawn-out conflict. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Any woman who counts women as prime life support must revel in the bonds this saga explores. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Gives us a lot to enjoy and something most studio movies don't even try for: an attempt at the richness, density and sheer contrariness of life. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: For all its failed connections, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is nurturing, in a gauzy, dithering way. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The makers of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood should offer a free ticket (second prize, of course, two free tickets) to anyone who can locate a genuinely honest moment in their movie. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: As someone who couldn't even finish the Rebecca Wells' best-seller and approached the movie with utter dread, I was pleasantly surprised. Read more

Kenneth Turan, 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. Read more

Melissa Ward Aguilar, Houston Chronicle: Ya-Yas everywhere will forgive the flaws and love the film. Read more

Paul Tatara, CNN.com: It practically lies down and wallows in its mega-hammy 'I Am Woman' tone. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: I never bought Vivi's life as anything real. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Not one character in this ovarian jungle is particularly likable. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The only question ... is to determine how well the schmaltz is manufactured -- to assess the quality of the manipulative engineering. Average, at best, I'm afraid. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: This Southern-belle saga is convinced that it's charming enough to mow down any viewer's skepticism. For the most part, its confidence is justified. Read more

F.X. Feeney, L.A. Weekly: Khouri manages, with terrific flair, to keep the extremes of screwball farce and blood-curdling family intensity on one continuum. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: In Divine Secrets, there's nothing much to discover: Everything is right up-front, all fluttery and yowling. Read more

Rex Reed, 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: As 'chick flicks' go, this one is pretty miserable, resorting to string-pulling rather than legitimate character development and intelligent plotting. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: There is not a character in the movie with a shred of plausibility, not an event that is believable, not a confrontation that is not staged, not a moment that is not false. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: The movie's main point, that sisterhood is powerful -- or, in this case, pahrful -- is hammered home in a hundred different ways. Those nailheads seal the movie off tight and clean. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: There's no denying that Divine Secrets is a clumsy journey, but at the end we know we've been places. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Neither the laughter nor the tears make a genuine emotional connection. Read more

Time Out: Better make the most of the first ten minutes of this execrable melodrama (directed by the scriptwriter of Thelma & Louise), because from then on it's the yackety-yack sisterhood in spades. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's a predictable chick flick raised to a level above soap opera by an impressive cast. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: While there are pleasures to be had from watching so many grand actresses strut their stuff, the fact is that the overriding preoccupation here rests with surface impressions rather than psychological probity. Read more

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice: The milieu is wholly unconvincing ... and the histrionics reach a truly annoying pitch. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: It thinks its message is feminist, but with its cast of uncommunicative, annoyingly ineffectual, southern-fried biddies, what it really ends up saying is 'Women: Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.' Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: If Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood suffers from a ploddingly melodramatic structure, it comes to life in the performances. Read more