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Boys on the Side
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Reviews & Ratings for
Boys on the Side More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Poignant and Sweet

8/10
Author: smatysia (feldene@comcast.net) from Houston
15 November 2000

Another film that I liked a lot more than I thought I would. Drew Barrymore was as adorable as ever, even though she was playing a ditzy blonde. Mary-Louise Parker really made this film. Her frail cuteness with the edge of toughness when necessary was perfect. And Whoopi Goldberg played it in an understated way that shows her talent, that she can handle a lot more than the over-the-top comedic roles that she is so famous for. Matthew McConaughey plays a caricature, so there is really no indication of talent there. The ending swims in poignancy, without getting (too) cloying. This film is definitely worth a look.

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A motion picture that celebrates the art of survival, the gift of laughter and the miracle of friendship.

Author: Old Joe from Hamilton, Australia
19 May 2003

'Boys on the side' is a very touching movie that looks essentially at what it means to be a woman, trapped inside a man's world. It also shows that friends really do stick together, through thick and thin. With the three leading ladies in roles that are really well written, here is a classy 'chick flick', that one guy really likes. It also looks into what it means to be sick, which I have been no stranger too, either....

Three women sharing a car going west, team up in this winning celebration of camaraderie, caring and friendship which quickly becomes a family, in 'Boys on the Side'. One is a wisecracking club singer, one is a finicky real-estate agent and one is a free spirit. Each has secrets to reveal, strengths to impart and vital moments of self-discovery awaiting. Now is their time.

What a fine cast for such a dramatic movie. The three main girls in 'Boys on the side' include the 'lesbo' Jane (Whoppi Goldberg), Robin (well acted by the talented Mary-Louise Parker), who is being helped to drive across America by Jane, and the fun loving and partly liberated Holly (Drew Barrymore). All these women are amazing in their roles.

I love how Jane stands up for herself and her sexuality, in addition to the fine music she can sing. Robin is a girl hiding a big secret, but we are aware that her life has not been an easy ride, which seems ironic, because of what the movie shows. Then what Holly is enduring, is quite staggering, being involved with a brutal man, Nick (Billy Wirth), that no woman should have to put up with. It is Holly's great personality and character that turn these best friends into a very close-nit family. Her situation is not as easy as it seems either.

While men are not talked about in a very good light in the film, we do see some men that are decent to these women. Robin admits to having a thing for barman, and on the road trip she meets up with Alex (James Remar) a caring barman, who is really hooked on Robin. The way their relationship goes is an interesting aspect of the movie. James had an interesting character in HBO's 'Sex and the city'. Holly, with such a bubbly personality meets a cop cutely named Abe Lincoln (Matthew McConaughey). He dearly loves Holly, wants her as his wife, so she can live a life that can be happy and trouble-free. I am interested in seeing McConaughey's latest film, titled 'How to lose a guy in 10 days'.

The director of BOTS was Hebert Ross (from the brilliant 80's movie, Steel Magnolias). He is a very game sort of director, and does not shrug away from any of the important issues within the film. I love how he brought out the movie's main themes of sex and sexuality (gay and straight), the empowerment of women, friendship, sickness, humour and what it means to be a family.

But the movie's story was also a highlight from where I viewed it. Written by Don Roos, it was very touching and emotional, but also holds a large amount of subtle, clever humour. The way he wrote the three main characters was terrific, with them all having very different situations for us to learn about. This I believe allows us to fall in love with each one of them. The use of quick flashbacks is another aspect that was well written into the screenplay by Roo's as were some of the lines in BOTS, which are unforgettable. Lines like when Holly asks Robin at the dinner table, `We're you?' in reference to her and Jane having a sexual relationship, the next few lines are great. The title of the film was well thought up, considering the line that Robin's mother says to her daughter, `You can't fight nature, God knows you women keep trying, treating your men like side dishes, stick a fork in when needed, just like men used to treat us.' That line is basically what the film is all about.

Another great part to this film was its soundtrack. It was not only clever to incorporate it via one of the movie's characters, that of Jane, it makes the whole movie all the more compelling. Whoppi Goldberg and Mary Louise Parker sing a fine solo of the Roy Orbison classic, 'You got it'. Then for the movie to have another performer actually sing the song, I found to be just original, as some films would just throw in the old song, but not here. Another ironic part of the soundtrack is a song written and sung by known lesbian Melissa Etheridge, titled 'I take you with me'. I am sure that the powers behind this movie wanted such a performer, considering one of the main characters in the film was also gay.

I watched this film, just a few weeks after seeing a movie that I am sure inspired the writer of the script, that being 'Thelma and Louise'. Parts of 'Boys on the side' has a similar feel to 'Thelma and Louise' - that of women on a road trip, trying to break free of men's hold on them. While a lot of the film is original, it has a very touching ending, to what can only be described as a very emotional movie. I also feel that director Herbert Ross, allows us to experience what each character is going through in life and does not shrug away from any issues that other movies might simply try and avoid. With a cleverly incorporated soundtrack, 'Boys on the side', is a movie that we can all learn from, to try and improve not only our friendships that we have, but how we live our lives in a world that can be cruel, harsh and unfair.

CMRS gives 'Boys on the side': 4 (Very Good Film)

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly sensitive

9/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
25 July 2001

Absorbing, funny and incredibly aware comedy-drama about three ladies on a road trip: Whoopi Goldberg as a lesbian lounge singer, Drew Barrymore as a pregnant, unmarried waif, and Mary-Louise Parker as an uptight woman trying to loosen up (and suffering from HIV). Plot is contrived, but the interaction between the characters is definitely not. Screenwriter Don Roos writes vivid dialogue and touching scenes, and the cast plays it to the hilt. Barrymore is at her best here, Goldberg is outstanding, and Parker--while not a varied actress--does solid work. Nice direction by Herbert Ross, who hasn't been this focused in years. ***1/2 from ****

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great movie for the girls

8/10
Author: Tinyhippy from United Kingdom
29 April 2003

I LOVE this movie. It's touching, funny, sad, heartbreaking and inspiring all in one. I found Mary-Louise Parker's character so like myself that it was hilarious! Drew Barrymore, lovely as ever in her role, provided the much-needed sparkle to the movie. Some parts were a lot sadder and more sinister than others, but Drew was always there to bring the sunshine!

It's so touching, it makes me cry every time. But I love it. It's not perfect by any means, but it's definitely one to watch with the girls. Boys are on the side.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Barrymore at her best

Author: Fiona-17 from USA
2 August 2001

Drew Barrymore really makes this movie what it is as the dizzy (blonde of course) Holly, with her fresh and upbeat view on life. The faces which Barrymore pulls to dramatize her part will keep you laughing (e.g whilst on the Greyhound bus, whilst in labor). Moreover, this film shows that Barrymore can not only play the slutty, seductive parts (e.g The Amy Fisher Story, Poison Ivy) but a role which mixes both.

What will surprise you about this comedy (and tear jerker) is that it's not as predictable as you may except. Although the story line is simple, there are always the odd parts which you don't expect. The fight at the beginning with Nick will keep you shocked and probably laughing.

It's definitely a chick flick (although the guys may drool over a blonde Barrymore.) However the actor who plays Abe Lincoln is an eye catcher.

This is not one of Whoopi Goldberg's best roles and I didn't think her part as the lesbian was believeable, yet she did display both strength and humor to keep you interested. Mary Louise Parker was excellent and her performance was on line with her part.

Definitely a movie for a Barrymore fan and if you need a heart warming movie to keep you interested at night. You go get it!

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

The best American movie ever made

10/10
Author: robinsonth from St. Augustine, FL
22 June 2001

Cynics might say its a chick flick or a dyke flick. Then remake me a chick or a dyke to get the kind of real, unbridled love -- romantic and platonic -- that these women have for each other and their hetero spouses/friends.

Mary-Louise Parker's character is so sad, yet so rich. Barrymore's fatuous shenanigans in the bus window are hilarious. Whoopie is no-nonsense, a realist, a skeptic -- but not offensive or shrill.

Minor characters are great, too.

Fried Green Tomatoes goes to Arizona.

Sound track is to die for.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Sooooo chick-flick

5/10
Author: marcslope from New York, NY
14 July 2008

Count the chick-flick conventions: The revenge on the abusive boyfriend; the three so-different young women bonding; the mother-daughter conflicts; the road trip; the scene where somebody sings "Happy Birthday" to somebody amid much general rejoicing; the adorable baby; the tear-wringing incurable-disease character; etc. It's well-written -- Don Roos, who later wrote the superb screenplay to "The Opposite of Sex," puts more curve on his dialog than most toiling in this genre -- but as with many sisters-united-in-adversity epics, it keeps wanting to yank emotions out of you rather than earn them honestly. The three leads are good, a young Matthew McConnaughey isn't yet annoying, and there are nice turns from Estelle Parsons and Anita Gillette, a Broadway baby decades earlier who matured into a proficient character actress. But Herb Ross is in his take-no-chances mode, and too much of the picture feels programmed and rote.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Funny, sad, so entertaining. A definite must see.

10/10
Author: gavin-hoare from Scotland
24 March 2010

This is my favorite film of all time. It has everything you want in a film.

It is funny and has plenty of action throughout. It is also so sad, anyone who doesn't cry must be emotionally retarded. I especially love Mary Jane Parker in this film even though all the actors are great.The film has so many great lines in it too and who would have known Whoopi Goldberg has a decent singing voice.

I strongly recommend everyone to watch this. Its just a shame i cant get this on region 2 DVD anywhere so i have to watch it on video which is not great.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

9/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
3 January 2002

POSSIBLE SPOLIERS AHEAD!

Great movie about three women (Whoppi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore) and their various adventures as they travel cross-country. Goldberg plays a lesbian, Parker plays a straight woman with AIDS and Barrymore a pregnant, unwed woman. All three are fantastic and the film manages (more or less) to juggle many plot elements (AIDS, lesbianism, pregnancy, drugs, violence, murder etc etc) and deal with them all effectively.

Parker is probably the first woman ever to play a straight woman with AIDS in a major Hollywood film--quite a feat. Goldberg and Barrymore are just letter perfect in their roles. Also the unknown Matthew McConaughey (absolutely gorgeous with a buff body and blue eyes blazing) and Estelle Parsons (as Parker's mother) give strong supporting performances. The film is long but never dull and it all ends to a very moving final sequence--I cry every time I see it!

Two minor quibbles--it takes Barrymore over a year to have her baby and there are obvious cuts in the second half of the movie (I assume this was to keep the film down to two hours). But these are minor problems. A very funny, very moving film. Don't miss it!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

No "Thelma and Louese"

5/10
Author: triple8 from Conn
25 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wanted to like this film bit I really didn't. Maybe it's because the above mentioned film is my all time favorite and this seemed a little bit of a rip off-women. on the road together. wanted by cops. The characters and the central plot maybe different then "T and L" but there are a lot of similarities.

I think it looked better in the previews then it wound up being. Not an awful movie but not one that I liked terribly. I did like the premise because I'm into road movies.

I know some people loved this. I just wasn't one of them. The whole movie was very forced, a bit contrived and weepy. Not that there's anything wrong with movies that have those aspects but after seeing some really incredible road movies I expected it to be a lot better and be a bit more original.

I will say, however, the acting was good-ALL THREE of the leads were spectacular. That was the main positive. But Coming so soon after "Thelma" it seemed like this was almost done to get people to the cinema. Even the previews made it look so much like Thelma.

Or maybe I was spoiled by Thelma and Louise, to me no other female road trip movie even comes close. Although I will say this was a tear jerker with interesting characters and good acting(the much better then average cast in my opinion is what saves this movie), on a whole I found it to INTENTIONALLY sappy and unoriginal. My vote is 5 of 10.

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