- Ted Demme
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, September 19, 2001
Willie (Timothy Hutton) returns to his home town for his high school reunion. He’s been away for some time. He’s also quite confused about his future. He doesn’t know if he really wants to marry his girlfriend Tracy. It is with the new experiences he lives through that his mind starts to clear up a bit. Meanwhile, all his closest friends have lives and problems of their own. They include a womanizer (Matt Dillon), a hurt and kind of pathetic guy (Michael Rapaport), the more mature one (Noah Emmerich) and many more.
Beautiful Girls is kind of a nostalgic movie It is all about relationships and growing up and asking yourself what it is it you want to do with your life. It is about responsibilities and love. About innocence and stupidity. About dreams. It is about the heart.
The script by Scott Rosenberg is full of amazing moments and clever dialogue that the large and talented ensemble deliver in great form. It is neither too profound nor too shallow. It finds the right balance and takes its time to make some great observations, give a general insight into human relationships and, most of all, be entertaining and charming at the same time.
I loved the way all the characters seemed so genuine and special in their own way. I got a feeling that I had known them all my life. You usually find that in Cameron Crowe movies, and in a way, Beautiful Girls resembles some of his past work. It rings true and works both as a drama and as a comedy. In other words, it is kind of a little gem.
Beautiful Girls works because it’s got a great script and because it is very well-directed by Ted Demme. It also works because of its cast, which really shines and which really works. There are a couple of standouts. It is impressive to note that among the cast there are two Oscar-winners, but still it is young Natalie Portman who steals the movie from everyone else. She’s delightful as a very beautiful and mature 13-year old girl who falls in love with Willie but at the same time realizes it can’t be. Rosie O’Donell also gets a few bright moments as a foul-mouthed woman who can’t stand men’s position towards some kind of women. Timothy Hutton is great in the lead, while Matt Dillon, Mira Sorvino, Lauren Holly and everyone else are all perfectly adequate. Uma Thurman appears briefly and is delightful as always.
Sometimes you find movies you didn’t expect to love that much. Movies that surprise you. Beautiful Girls is one of them!
“I might just grow to be five-ten. I'll be hot.”
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