Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Beth Henley (who also penned the screenplay), Crimes of the Heart stars three high-powered actresses as three high-strung sisters. Lenny (Diane Keaton), Meg (Jessica Lange) and Babe (Sissy Spacek) gather at Lenny's deep-South home for her birthday. Lenny, the oldest, can't seem to sustain a relationship with a man. Meg is an aspiring actress who hasn't progressed beyond commercial voice overs. And Babe is released on bond from jail after shooting her senator husband. Add to this information the fact that the girls' mother killed herself in Lenny's house, and that when Meg offhandedly expresses the wish that grouchy grandfather Hurd Hatfield would slip into a coma, he does, whereupon the sisters, despite every effort to treat the situation with proper sobriety, burst into helpless laughter over her "psychic" powers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This is a story written about a different world than most people now know about. It's the 1950s in the heart of the Deep South, where men are men and women are where they're told to be. Tragedy has shaped the lives of three sisters whose mother hanged herself and her beloved cat. The entire town looked down upon the young girls who were forced to live with old grandparents who may have loved them but weren't quite sure how to handle raising them. Life is a trial most of the time and this movie shows how the sisters survived those trials. The lazy, hot summer where the baby sister shot her lawyer husband "because I didn't like his stinkin' looks!" brings home the wayward lounge singer older sister, to the joy and embitterment of the middle sister. This movie reminds me of a cross between Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes.
The setting was interesting and the characters somewhat interesting. Nothing much happened though. I enjoyed the interactions between the sisters. The movie details make it sound more interesting than it really is. Most issues are just barely touched on.