RELEASED IN 1992 and directed by Barnet Kellman, "Straight Talk" is a fun drama about a wise, straight-talking rural woman (Dolly Parton) who lands a lucrative gig at a Chicago radio station as "Dr. Shirlee," who offers advice to troubled souls. A reporter (James Wood) finds her appealing, but also needs a big story, so digs up dirt on her. Griffin Dunne plays her boss at the station while Michael Madsen appears as her ex-beau. Charles Fleischer is also on hand. This isn't really a romcom, at least not in the strictest definition (since the movie's generally realistic and any comedy in the story is low-key), but rather a light drama with elements of romance and a worthy moral. There's a moving scene in the last act that reveals Dolly's acting skills. Speaking of whom, Dolly shines throughout (not that I was ever a fan, which isn't to say I DON'T like her). She's fit and voluptuous but, most importantly, thoroughly winsome with a genuine smile. Woods is also effective as the male protagonist. THE MOVIE RUNS 91 minutes and was shot in Chicago & Lemont, Illinois; South Pasadena, California; and Concord, Georgia. WRITER: Craig Bolotin & Patricia Resnick. ADDITIONAL CAST: Teri Hatcher & Jerry Orbach. GRADE: B+/A-
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A woman ditches her small town life for big city Chicago, where she becomes a sensation as a radio show host.
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April 7, 2019