Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

June 7, 2002 0 By Fans
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Still of Ellen Burstyn in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya SisterhoodStill of Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, Maggie Smith and Shirley Knight in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya SisterhoodDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya SisterhoodStill of Ellen Burstyn in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya SisterhoodDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya SisterhoodStill of Gina McKee, Jacqueline McKenzie and Kiersten Warren in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood


After years of mother-daughter tension, Siddalee receives a scrapbook detailing the wild adventures of the "Ya-Yas", her mother's girlhood friends.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 5.5/10 (10,351 voted)

Critic's Score: 48/100

Callie Khouri

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan

Siddalee, a famous New York playwright, is quoted in Time magazine and infuriates her dramatic, Southern mother. A long-distant fight wages until her mother's friends (and members of the Yaya Sisterhood) kidnap Siddalee and take her "home" to the South, where they hope to explain her mother's history and to patch up the rift between mother and daughter.

Writers: Rebecca Wells, Mark Andrus


Sandra Bullock

Siddalee 'Sidda' Walker

Ellen Burstyn

Viviane Joan 'Vivi' Abbott Walker

Fionnula Flanagan

'Teensy' Melissa Whitman

James Garner

Shepard James 'Shep' Walker

Cherry Jones

Grandma 'Buggy' Abbott

Ashley Judd

Younger Vivi Abbott Walker

Shirley Knight

Necie Rose Kelleher

Angus Macfadyen

Connor McGill

Maggie Smith

Caro Eliza Bennett

Jacqueline McKenzie

Younger Teensy Whitman

Katy Selverstone

Younger Caro Bennett

Kiersten Warren

Younger Necie Kelleher

David Lee Smith

Younger Shep Walker

Gina McKee

Genevieve Whitman

Matthew Settle

Lt. Jack Whitman

Mothers. Daughters. The never-ending story of good vs. evil.


Official Website:
Warner Bros. [United States]with trailer |

Release Date: 7 June 2002

Filming Locations: Burgaw, North Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $27,000,000


Opening Weekend: $16,167,412
(9 June 2002)
(2507 Screens)

Gross: $73,839,240

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina at the same time as
A Walk to Remember.


In the plane scene (Siddalee's flashback, near the end), you see all the cars pull up to the field. In the car beside the one Vivi is driving, you see a girl jump out of the car twice.


Younger Vivi:
Don't look at me in that tone of voice!

User Review

Wise, Witty, and Wonderful!


After all the hype and comparisons to 'Steel Magnolias', 'Divine Secrets of
the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', sadly, did not do much box office, which was a shame,
as it is a more intimate, realistic vision of women and life-long
friendships than the glossier 'Magnolias'.

Four girl friends in Louisiana create a secret sisterhood in 1937, swearing
eternal devotion to each other, and they remain best friends through all the
triumphs and tragedies in their lives. When the daughter of one of them
(Sandra Bullock), a successful playright, has an interview with Time
magazine in which she condemns her mother's impact on her life, the mother
(Ellen Burstyn, who is superb!) goes ballistic, cutting the daughter out of
her life, totally. In charges the other members of the Sisterhood,
kidnapping Bullock, and attempting to make things right!

The film then jumps back and forth in time, with Ashley Judd playing the
younger Burstyn. She has a lot of happy adventures with her Ya-Ya sisters,
but also has to deal with racism, a jealous religious zealot of a mother, an
overly loving father (David Rasche, breaking free of his usual comic roles),
a true love who dies in WWII, and a family with a guy she 'settles' for
(played, in present day, by the wonderful James Garner). There is also a
dark secret that is the core of the mother/daughter alienation, which must
be dealt with in order for the rift between Bullock and Burstyn to heal (No,
I will NOT give it away!)

If you do the math about the years covered, you realize the present-day
story SHOULD be taking place in the seventies, at the latest, but this
doesn't hurt the overall effectiveness of the picture. As the other
present-day sisters, Fionnula Flanagan, Shirley Knight, and (especially)
Maggie Smith are WONDERFUL, as is Angus MacFadyen, as Bullock's sympathetic
and likable fiance.

While this is unabashedly a 'chick flick', something I really liked was that
they DIDN'T fall back on that old chestnut of somebody dying to serve as a
convenient catalyst for change and the healing process. And the dialog is
full of wickedly hilarious one-liners about men, alcohol, friendship, and
growing old!

Don't miss this gem!