7.2/10
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176 user 64 critic

Beautiful Girls (1996)

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

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ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kev
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Jan
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Anne Bobby ...
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brincando de Seduzir  »

Box Office

Gross:

$20,837,000 (USA)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was inspired by the experiences of screenwriter Scott Rosenberg when returning home to Needham, Massachusetts. During what he claimed was the worst winter for his hometown, he was waiting to see if his script Con Air (1997) was going to be produced and was getting fed up with writing action movies. Rosenberg cited that there was more action happening with his friends not wanting to accept that they were turning 30 or had commitment issues, which became the basis for Beautiful Girls (1996). See more »

Goofs

Kev's cigar in the opening scene. See more »

Quotes

Marty: Two words not in her vocabulary: lunch money.
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Connections

Referenced in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #3.24 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

That's How Strong My Love Is
Written by Roosevelt Jamison
Performed by Roland Gift
Courtesy of MCA Records for North America and London Records for the world exclusive of North America
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User Reviews

 
Captures the imagination and heart
17 April 2001 | by (Doncaster, England) – See all my reviews

It is very rare to encounter a film so devoted to character and this is the greatest strength of Beautiful Girls. Each character has their own personal turmoil and lightness which shines through in a film which from start to finish very little movement of plot is actually achieved, but then again it doesn't need to.

Small-town sensibilities and community spirit are intertwined with the notions of enigmatic strangers posing in an almost prophetic manner delivering advice upon the populous. Events such as brutal fighting, unashamed drunkenness and references to sex are handled as items which are not derogatory but necessary in a rites of passage kind of way. Each character develops through the film into better individuals of what they once were but not to such an extent as to impose sickly sweet values on the audience.

Every character is natural and rounded despite some major personality flaws. Timothy Hutton's excellent Willy is at odds with himself over the next stage of growing up, Rappaport plays the goofy yet loveable fool for love, Dillon the lost soul and Emmerich the doting yet somewhat incapable father. But it is in the Beautiful Women themselves where the real essence of the film lies. Uma Thurman is every blonde inch the mysterious and elegant Andera crossing paths with everyone and influencing their lives for the better. Rosie O'Donnell as the brash 'matron' of the group is the perfect foil for Sorvino's insecure personality. The ace of the bunch however is a mesmerising Natalie Portman who even despite being the cast's youngest member is compelling to the point that you can understand Willy's fascination with her character Marty.

For anyone wishing for comfort on a cold winter afternoon there are very few films with such a strong heart, Demme excels himself by never laying on the sentimentality rather poking gingerly at our own innermost feelings, and coming out with a winner.


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