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The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 May 2000 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 105,256 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 512 user | 146 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents.

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Title: The Virgin Suicides (1999)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Adult Trip Fontaine (as Michael Pare)
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Leslie Hayman ...
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Anthony DeSimone ...
Chase Buell (as Anthony Desimone)
Lee Kagan ...
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Noah Shebib ...
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Storyline

The lives of an eclectic group of men who live in an affluent Detroit suburb in the '70s are forever changed by their obsession with five sisters. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful, mysterious, haunting, invariably fatal. Just like life. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong thematic elements involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sofia Coppola's the Virgin Suicides  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$235,122 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Gross:

$4,859,475 (USA) (25 August 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott Glenn, Danny DeVito and Kirsten Dunst had all previously appeared in film directed by Francis Ford Coppola: Apocalypse Now (1979), The Rainmaker (1997) and New York Stories (1989), respectively. See more »

Goofs

Lux's pants change from when she gets up from the couch in the living room to the shot of her showing Trip the door. See more »

Quotes

Trip Fontaine: You're a stone fox.
See more »

Connections

References If.... (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

So Far Away
Written by Carole King
Performed by Carole King
Master Provided Courtesy of Carole King Productions
Published by Colgems-EMI Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful, but not a great adaptation of the book
17 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

Sofia Coppola's film is an adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides excellent novel of the same name. It is a beautiful, visually stunning movie, but it fails to capture the book's spirit.

The Virgin Suicides presents itself as a story about five mysterious Lisbon sisters. It all starts when the youngest one, Cecilia, tries to commit suicide, but, unsurprisingly, tragic events don't stop there. In essence, this is a coming of age story for the group of boys, who watch the Lisbon sisters and fantasize about them long after they're gone. It's also the story about the death of suburbia in the 70s.

The cast is very good, if a little surprising. Kathleen Turner and James Woods are excellent as the parents. Kirsten Dunst might not seem as the perfect person to play the most rebellious of the sisters, Lux, but she is quite good in capturing the character's spirit. Josh Hartnett as the school hearth throb Trip Fontaine, proves to poses an acting talent in one of his earliest roles. Too bad some of his later work was forgettable (or embarrassing). But bringing Trip Fontaine to life was not an easy task, given the importance of the character and the fact the screen time was limited, and he pulls that off with ease.

Copolla does her best to keep all the important dialogues and scenes from the book. Great attention is given even to the little details only people who've read the novel will notice: the bracelets, brown-and white saddle shoes, Trip Fontaine's necklace. Directors and screenwriters rarely do that these days, and it's a big plus.

However, the film never manages to be more than just average, if stunningly beautiful. It somehow includes all the details, but completely misses the atmosphere and spirit of the novel. It's probably because of Copolla's choice to focus on the sisters themselves and not the boys; this way, much of the mystery about them is gone, and it was one of the driving forces in the book.

But a film doesn't need to be a great adaptation of the book to be good. However, The Virgin Suicides is never fully able to exist on its own; there are many scenes and situations that seem confusing if you're unfamiliar with the book. So at the same time it fails to capture the novel's spirit, while being too dependent on the novel to fully stand on its own.


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