Once Around (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 February 1991 (USA)
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Reviews: 45 user | 15 critic

Renata Bella feels like a failure at life and career. But when Renata attends a seminar on selling real estate, she finally finds True Love. Sam Sharpe, while a top-notch, successful ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Sharpe
Renata Bella
Joe Bella
Jan Bella
Marilyn Bella
Gail Bella
Tony Bella
Peter Hedges
Jim Redstone
Cullen O. Johnson ...
Joan Gay ...
Lou Criscuolo ...
Myra Taylor ...
Trainer #1
Michael Steve Jones ...
Trainer #2


Renata Bella feels like a failure at life and career. But when Renata attends a seminar on selling real estate, she finally finds True Love. Sam Sharpe, while a top-notch, successful salesman, is much older than Renata. She is swept away by his excessively flamboyant style and irrepressible nature. The very traits she finds romantic, however, lead to repeated conflict with her family, especially her beloved father Joe, leaving Renata trapped in the middle. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What do you do when you think you have found the man of your dreams. And no one else notices. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ce cher intrus  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,851,083 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Principal photography on this picture was conducted during February, March and April 1990. The production shoot for the film ran for just over around two months. See more »


During the scene of Jan's wedding, the person marrying the couple announces "with the power vested in me by the state of Massachusetts." However, Massachusetts is a commonwealth, and any Massachusetts governmental officer would actually say "vested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." See more »


Jan Bella: For chrissakes - he puts money in women's breasts!
See more »


Glory of Love
Written by Billy Hill
Performed by Danny Aiello
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User Reviews

Genuine character study, completely wonderful, and a joy to watch.
26 July 2001 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

This is one of Lasse Hallestrom's best films. It is a richly textured, completely unique character study of a youngish woman named Renata, played superbly by Holly Hunter in what is arguably her best performance. Renata comes from a close Italian family outside of Boston, and has drifted from job to job without much confidence or direction. Her family is very supportive of her, but rather than drawing strength form their support, Renata seems to dwell safely in it, choosing to let them be her safety net.

Renata goes on a weekend junket where she is recruited to take a position selling timeshares in the Caribbean. While she is there she meets Sam, the dynamic and aggressive top salesman, who impresses her greatly when she hears him speak. A flirtation develops, and she ends up traveling back to Boston with him.

The brash, confident Sam clashes inadvertently with her family's more traditional and reserved style, and while it is evident Sam is crazy about Renata, the family has reservations about him. A compelling and utterly captivating story ensues, which unlike most small films, takes major risks, and allows every character to be completely human.

The story deals with the power of acceptance, of love, of the magic and complete idiocynracy of personal connection, and of what it means to be alive and human. Sam is difficult--he is over the top, and loud, and exhausting. Yet the film is equally balanced in showing his many kindnesses to Renata and her entire family; his generosity, his love for her, and his pride that she loves him. Their love is peculiar and inexplicable, and yet they complete one another in that indefinable way that epitomizes the mystery of love.

it's not a sappy love story. The movie shows people warts and all, and loves them anyway. All the characters are respected. By the end, I am usually in tears. Renata tells her parents, "This is MY adventure!" and when you watch this, I think you will agree.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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