Is "Something to Talk About" one of the best karaoke songs of all time or what? It's hard to believe that when the song was first written, it would take years for someone to actually record it. It's so catchy, it's impossible not to sing along to in the car, and the steamy story of a couple embracing small-town gossip is hard not to enjoy. Not to mention the fact that the song gave us a seriously underrated Julia Roberts movie.
Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Eikhard wrote the song back in the 80s which initially, Anne Murray wanted to record. Her producers didn't think the song would be very successful so Murray used the title for her 1986 album and moved on. Bonnie Raitt stepped in to record the song a few years later and ended up with one of the biggest hits of her career, winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Though the song never hit number one on the Billboard charts, it's become a classic over the years. The sassy story about small-town gossip continues to resonate with listeners, so it's no surprise that the concept was turned into a feature film. Just five years after the song's release, screenwriter Callie Khouri wrote the script, her second film after winning an Oscar for Thelma & Louise. Fun fact, Goldie Hawn was one of the producers of the Warner Bros film!
While the song is centered around a man and a woman rumored to have an affair, the film, directed by Lasse Hallström, made a few changes. Julia Roberts stars as Grace King Bichon, a happily married mother who works on her father, Wyly King's horse farm, played by Robert Duvall. But when she finds out that her husband Eddie Bichon (Dennis Quaid) has been cheating on her, she moves back home with father and mother (Gena Rowlands) and leans on her sister (Kyra Sedgwick) for support. Sedgwick shines as Emma Rae King with honest lines like "You married a guy whose nickname in college was Hound Dog. What did you expect was going to happen?" offering comedic relief throughout the film. She even earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role. Haley Aull co-stars as the couple's young daughter, Caroline "Doodlebug."
Set in the deep south, Hollywood shot the film throughout Beaufort, Georgia and South Carolina, perfectly capturing life in the South and the pains and trauma that can come from gossip. Grace must deal with the shame of her husband's infidelity with the entire town knowing in addition to everyone in her family having a different opinion on why it happened in the first place. Roberts had already made a name for herself after starring in Mystic Pizza, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Pretty Woman, earning herself two Academy Award nominations. The actress really channeled her southern upbringing to play the frustrated young woman, questioning not only her own love story but the relationship of her own parents.
Next time you catch Bonnie Raitt's song on the radio, don't forget about the film it inspired! It's available to rent on Amazon here.