Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
A piano player at a crossroads in his life returns home to his friends and their own problems with life and love.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,178 ( 1,215)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A mother and daughter search for success in Beverly Hills.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Hart Bochner
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A pregnant 17-year-old rebuilds her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma.

Director: Matt Williams
Stars: Natalie Portman, James Frain, Ashley Judd
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a shaky marriage while her half sister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts
Singles (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of twenty-something friends, most of whom live in the same apartment complex, search for love and success in grunge-era Seattle.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick
Closer I (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Clive Owen
Garden State (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman
Domino One (2005)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Nick Louvel
Stars: Nick Garrison, Ken Cheeseman, Steve Guttenberg
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A successful veternarian & radio show host with low self-esteem asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man wants to see her.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin
Free Zone (2005)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).

Director: Amos Gitai
Stars: Natalie Portman, Hana Laszlo, Hiam Abbass
Goya's Ghosts (2006)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Painter Francisco Goya faces a scandal involving his muse, who is labeled a heretic by a monk.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård
High Fidelity (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Reality Bites (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Generation X Graduates face life after college with a filmmaker looking for work and love in Houston.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Kev
...
Jan
...
...
...
...
...
Anne Bobby ...
Richard Bright ...
Edit

Storyline

New York based jazz pianist Willie Conway heads back to his small hometown of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts for a high school reunion. The trip is as much to go to the reunion and see his old friends - none of whom left Knights Ridge after graduation - as it is to get away from his current life, at which he is at a crossroads both personally and professionally. He is just eking out a living with his piano playing gigs, and as such he is thinking about taking a sales job. He's also not sure if he's ready to marry his long time girlfriend, lawyer Tracy Stover. Most of Willie's Knights Ridge blue collar friends' best days were in high school, they still having that "trophy" mentality of girlfriends and wives. Only Michael "Mo" Morris is happily married with a family. Paul Kirkwood, whose room is plastered with magazine pictures of models, wants his waitress ex-girlfriend Jan back only because he knows now that he can't have her. And Tommy "Birdman" Rowland, who was the big man in high ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

good times never seemed so good

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and nude pin-ups | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brincando de Seduzir  »

Box Office

Gross:

$20,837,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Noah Emmerich and Natalie Portman would go on to play husband-wife in Jane Got A Gun (2016) twenty years later. See more »

Goofs

Paul's tie when deciding whether or not to go to the reunion. See more »

Quotes

Willie Conway: [from a window] Hey.
Marty: Romeo and Juliet, the dyslexic version.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off October Road (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Suffering
Written by Shawn Smith, Regan Hagar, Cory Kane & John Hoag
Performed by Satchel
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great Cast, Strong Performances Bring It To Life
13 July 2002 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

A terrific ensemble cast brings this film to life, which focuses on the difficulties some face in making that final, `mental' leap from adolescence to adulthood, and spend way too many years trying to sort it all out. As one of the characters so tellingly puts it at one point, `I'm not anywhere close to being the man I thought I'd be--' and the denial, that failure to accept the fact that time stands still for no man, and the inability to choose which path to take when you hit that inevitable fork in the road, forms the basis for director Ted Demme's examination of how human nature affects the process of maturating, in `Beautiful Girls,' a drama featuring Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon and a young Natalie Portman.

Willie Conway (Hutton) is back home in the Midwest for his high school reunion, but more than that, to try and make some decisions about his future. He finds that nothing much has changed-- the town, or his old friends, most of whom seem to be exerting more time and energy attempting to cling to what was, rather than moving on with their lives. Tommy Rowland (Dillon), for instance, the high school `hero,' as it were, now drives a snowplow; for all intents and purposes, his life `peaked' in high school, and he can't seem to get past it. Then there's Paul (Michael Rapaport), who just doesn't seem to want to grow up; after a seven year relationship with Jan (Martha Plimpton), he refuses to make that final commitment-- after all, `What's the rush?'

All of which does nothing to help Willie with his own dilemma; the only words of wisdom he gets from anyone, in fact, come from the precocious thirteen-year-old, Marty (Natalie Portman), who lives next door. But in a couple of days, Tracy (Annabeth Gish), the girl Willie `thinks' he wants to marry, is due to arrive from Chicago, so it's time to move beyond the crossroads; for Willie, it's decision time.

Demme delivers a story that just about everyone in the audience is going to connect with on some level, because everyone's gone through (or will go through) these kinds of things at one time or another. Who hasn't experienced, if only for a moment, that sense of either wanting to stay as they are or going back to what they were, when life was better, or at least simpler. Or more fun. Working from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Demme examines the relationships between this eclectic group of individuals in a way that offers some insights into human nature that will no doubt elicit some reflection on the part of the viewer. It all points up that, no matter what it may look like on the surface, underneath it all we're not so different from one another; we all share that common bond of learning life's lessons one day at a time, albeit in our own particular way, which corresponds to who we are as individuals. And Demme succeeds in telling his story with warmth and humor; by tapping into the humanity at the heart of it all.

The story may focus on Willie, but the film is a true ensemble piece, realized as it is through the sum of it's many and varied parts. It's a talented cast of actors bringing a unique bunch of characters to life that makes this film what it is, beginning with Hutton, who anchors it with his solid portrayal of Willie, a challenging role in that Willie has to be an average guy who is unique in his own right. The same can be said of Dillon's Tommy, in whom traces of Dallas Winston from `The Outsiders' can be found; Tommy is, perhaps, just Dallas a few years later.

Mira Sorvino gives a memorable performance by creating the most sympathetic character in the film, Tommy's girlfriend, Sharon. This is the girl who was never going to be prom queen, and who up until now has lacked the self-confidence necessary to create a positive environment for herself. Lauren Holly, meanwhile, succeeds with her portrayal of Darian Smalls, the absolute opposite of Sharon, a young woman who is probably too positive for her own good and who lives the life of a perpetual prom queen, an individual who-- as another character succinctly puts it-- was `Mean as a snake,' back in the day. Good performances that add a balanced perspective to the film.

There are two performances here that really steal the show, however. The first being that of Michael Rapaport, who as Paul so completely and convincingly captures the very essence of an average Joe with not too much on the ball, no prospects for the future to speak of, but who is, at heart, a good guy. There's humor and pathos in his portrayal, which personifies that particular state of being the film is seeking to depict. Excellent work by Rapaport, and decidedly one of the strengths of the film.

The most memorable performance of all, however, is turned in by Natalie Portman, who at fifteen is playing the thirteen-year-old Marty, the girl mature and wise beyond her years (`I'm an old soul,' as she puts it), with whom Willie forms a kind of bond as she, in her own way, helps him to sort out his feelings and find his focus. Portman's performance here-- some three years before she would forever become Padme Amidala-- exhibits that spark and charismatic screen presence that has served her so well since, in films like `Anywhere But Here,' and `Where the Heart Is.' She has for some time been, and continues to be, one of the finest and most promising young actors in the business.

The cast also includes Noah Emmerich (Mo), Rosie O'Donnell (Gina), Max Perlich (Kev), Uma Thurman (Andrea), Anne Bobby (Sarah) and Pruitt Taylor Vince (Stanley), all of whom help to make `Beautiful Girls' a memorable and satisfying cinematic experience. And that's the magic of the movies. 8/10.






37 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where the bleep are Marty's parents? bjmgamer
Probably Doesn't Belong Here But PLEASE Read... solovesick09
Great movie to see when u r drunk .... arunava82
Tracy shesamazingnyc
Other movies like Beautiful Girls... aprovost-1
Favourite line? brown_sugar7466
Discuss Beautiful Girls (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page