Southern accents are hotter than Georgia asphalt: Just ask South Carolina’s own Andie MacDowell, whose coy twang sent Green Card’s box office tallies shooting north (Card took in $10 million its first six weeks, thankyew). While MacDowell is the real thang, there have been plenty of bogus belles on the big screen lately: Melanie Griffith, for instance, in Bonfire of the Vanities. Yankee Griffith, with her sugar-drawl, was remarkably true to Southern-born Tom Wolfe’s conception: ”Shuhhh-mun,” she cooed to her lover, conveniently named after the Union general who rampaged through the South. Other notable praline queens include California natives Laura Dern, who popularized the aforementioned asphalt with her white-trash Lula in Wild at Heart, and Barbara Hershey, who perfected a flip New Orleans simper for frisky Julia in Tune in Tomorrow. The vocal vogue seems a throwback to the days when Elizabeth Taylor purred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind gave Southern lip its down-home sex appeal.
Posted February 8 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
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