A successful playwright (Sandra Bullock) gives an interview to Time, complaining of an unhappy childhood. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn) takes offense. Her lifelong friends (the Ya-Yas) kidnap Bullock, hoping to explain the sources of Mom's unhappiness and effect a reconciliation. The ladies are Southern, therefore boozy, warmhearted, eccentric--all too predictably and cozily so. After many lumpy flashbacks, peace and harmony are restored. This is potentially near tragic material, and playing it as an all-forgiving comedy is a waste of everyone's time.
--By Richard Schickel