Cold Sassy Tree (1989)

TV Movie   |    |  Drama

Cold Sassy Tree (1989) Poster

An independent woman from the North causes a scandal when she decides to wed a local general store owner just three weeks after he has been widowed.

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3 May 1999 | SJS
So we read the book, "Cold Sassy Tree", in our English class. Good book.... contains three very interesting main characters (Will, Grandpa, and Miss Love), great dialogue, wonderful coming-of-age story, and a marvelous Southern town backdrop.

Then, we saw the movie.

This thing is TERRIBLE! If you haven't read the book, you *will not* understand it, and if you have, you will be bored to death! The movie jumps right into about Chapter 16 of the book. We barely know these characters, so we don't pay attention. There is a key scene in which Grandpa prays for the town to bless his new wife; in the book this scene was touching, but in the movie his character is not well-developed enough to make us realize that praying this fervently is against his character.

The movie also loses focus of the point of the story. The book was about Will and Grandpa "growing up"-- in the movie, it is more like a romance between Grandpa and Miss Love (played by a homely Faye Dunaway in a role that should have gone to someone half her age).

I beg you not to see this yawn-inducing smaltzfest! Spare yourself! Read the book, or go see some other film about Southern life ("To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)" comes to mind).

Oh, yeah, and to comment on the title: in the book it is quite relevant, but in the movie it is explained in the opening narration and not mentioned again.

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