Beautiful Girls

"Excellent"

Beautiful Girls Review


With a cryptic title like Beautiful Girls, one starts to wonder to whom this film is being marketed. Is it the frat boy model-ogling crowd? Is it a self-help flick for teenage girls? Is it soft porn? The answer, of course, is none of these: Beautiful Girls is a date movie, and quite a good one at that.

Something like The Big Chill meets Generation X, Beautiful Girls is one of those ensemble character movies that really defies description in terms of plot points. The ostensible main character is Willie (Timothy Hutton), who is ambivalent about girlfriend Tracy (Annabeth Gish) so heads back home to Knight's Ridge, Massachusetts to sort things out during his 10-year high school reunion. Here, he hooks up with old pals Tommy (Matt Dillon) and Paul (Michael Rapaport), each of whom is also flailing helplessly in his own romantic mess.

The "beautiful girls" in question include Sharon (Mighty Aphrodite's Mira Sorvino), Tommy's girlfriend, and Darian (Lauren Holly), Tommy's other girlfriend. Jan (Martha Plimpton) is Paul's seven-year-long lover, who's now dating the local butcher. Then there's the visiting heartbreaker Andera (Uma Thurman) and 13-year-old "heartbreaker-in-training" Marty (Natalie Portman). And don't forget a special appearance by "Elle Macpherson"...Paul's Saint Bernard.

The entanglements of the some 17 major cast members could fill pages and would spoil the film. Suffice it to say that they are mostly very funny and realistic to boot. After an awkward and confusing start, Beautiful Girls really hits hard as a comedy and a romance without becoming mushy and stilted like your average twentysomething date flick. And even more incredible is that director Ted Demme and writer Scott Rosenberg have managed to imbue every character with life and originality, something many filmmakers have trouble doing with just one or two.

The acting is all top-notch, including the big surprise of ROSIE O'DONNELL's best 10 minutes of her career, playing the local beautician. The young Portman is just fantastic, and Hutton also brings some real emotion to his role (hopefully this will revive his career).

And in case you're used to my crusty opinions and think I'm being rough, my guest insisted Beautiful Girls was one of the best films she'd ever seen. Regardless, even if we're both overestimating this picture, it's still worth a look.

Holly goes lightly.



Beautiful Girls

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th February 1996

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Tommy 'Birdman' Rowland, as Michael 'Mo' Morris, as Tracy Stover, as Darian Smalls, as Willie Conway, as Andera, as Sharon Cassidy, as Marty, as Paul Kirkwood

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.