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“Steel Magnolias” might just be the most quotable tearjerker of all time. Well, if you ask me, anyway. I’ll admit that I might be a bit biased. I’ve seen the movie more times that I can count, and yes, I cry every time.
In addition to its ability to move even the most stoic of us to turn on the water works, the 1989 film is beloved for a lot of other reasons, too. There is great acting from some big stars (Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis and Tom Skerritt), its special brand of humor (“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”), its fashion (“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”) and its depiction of the small Louisiana town of Natchitoches.
Now, fans of the movie have the opportunity to stay in the home where the Eatenton family lives in the film. Yep, since 2014, the gorgeous home from the movie has functioned as a bed and breakfast known as Steel Magnolia House.
Here’s a shot of the exterior posted by a user on Instagram:
Perfect for a girls’ trip or a romantic getaway, Steel Magnolia House features guest rooms that are all named after iconic characters from the movie: Clairee, Ouiser, Shelby, Jackson and Annelle. There’s plenty of “Steel Magnolias” memorabilia on hand for superfans, including costume sketches and behind-the-scenes photos.
Robert Harling, who wrote the original play on which the movie was based, grew up in Natchitoches, which is renamed as Chinquapin in the movie. The story was based on Harling’s sister, Susan, who died at age 33 as a result of complications from type 1 diabetes. His motivation to write the play was so that his nephew would get to know more about his late mother.
“All I wanted to do was have somebody remember her,” Harling told Country Living.
Interestingly, Harling did not set out for the play to elicit so much laughter from audiences. He envisioned it as a tragedy, which it certainly is in many ways. But Harling based the characters we’ve come to know and love on the real-life women he grew up around in Natchitoches—his mother and her friends, who he says were known for their humorous one-liners.
“I always thought the women in my community were so witty and clever,” he told Country Living. “It was like a witty one-upmanship [between them]. In a lot of ways, they talked in bumper stickers.”
The enduring popularity of “Steel Magnolias” put Harling’s small hometown on the map. Natchitoches has become a bit of a tourist destination, with fans of the movie eager to see where the beautiful story really unfolded.
“My sister would love the idea that people are coming to her beloved hometown because of her story,” Harling told Country Living.
What do you think? Will you plan a trip to Steel Magnolia House?
[h/t: Scary Mommy]
RELATED: Hey, movie buffs! This teacher gave his students a magical surprise when he turned his classroom into Hogwarts: