Screenwriter Callie Khouri makes her directorial debut with this adaptation of a pair of popular novels by author Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere. Sandra Bullock stars as Sidda Lee Walker, a New York playwright who opens a can of emotional worms with her estranged, boozy mother, Vivi (Ellen Burstyn), when she discusses her painful childhood and particularly Vivi's less-than-enviable mothering skills in a Time magazine article. The eccentric Louisiana drama queen Vivi has already been barred from her daughter's oft-delayed wedding to her fiancé, Connor (Angus Macfadyen), so the article sends her into a rage. Coming to the rescue of the relationship are Necie (Shirley Knight), Caro (Maggie Smith), and Teensy (Fionnula Flanagan), a trio of bickering women, who, along with Vivi, formed a secret society of feminist empowerment and friendship 60 years earlier that they dubbed the "Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The Ya-Yas kidnap Sidda and bring her home to Louisiana, where they reveal to Sidda via a carefully maintained scrapbook her mother's painful past (with Vivi portrayed in flashback by Ashley Judd), effecting a rapprochement between mother and daughter. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood also stars James Garner.
by Karl Williams synopsis