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John Franklin Sawyer,
Two grieving women - Ria, a Dublin mom whose husband discloses he's in love with a woman already pregnant, and Marilyn, a Connecticut Yankee whose son has died - swap houses for a couple months. Marilyn finds solace in Ria's garden and becomes friends with Colm, a local with a restaurant and his own demons. Ria gets a job cooking, has a date or two, and gradually comes out of her shell. Meanwhile, Ria's husband Danny has problems, economic and personal, that may bring more ruin to those close to him. The house on Tara Road comes to stand for the past, for possibilities, and for what can be lost. Written by
Maeve Binchy, author of the novel on which the movie is based, makes an uncredited cameo as a restaurant patron. She can be glimpsed seated at the end of the bar, right after the scene where Ria offers to take the job advertised at the restaurant cashier's counter. See more »
The US scenes taking place in New England include bare mesas (bluffs) in the background. The South African filming location reveals itself. See more »
Given that I have read the book (at least once) and loved it, I felt that this made the transition to the Big Screen fairly painlessly, after all it was a Big Book and time is limited. I went with someone who had not it, and we both enjoyed the film. I didn't find the acting hammy nor the shortcuts overly intrusive. A six-part drama would have covered all points better obviously but this movie told the tale adequately, the characters were all well-drawn and the mood of the book translated well onto the screen. I loved that we could get the ambiance of each home quickly and the circle of friends that each woman had. The kids were great - my only criticism would perhaps be that Danny was not quite smooth enough; it was hard to fall for his legendary charm.
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