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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 supposedly take place in New England, but include a shot of an Interstate 75 road-sign. I75 goes nowhere near the east coast. See more »
One of Maeve Binchey's most popular novels, complete with a useful American angle, this was an obvious choice for the big screen. However, the story of two women (one Irish, one American) who house-swap makes for a difficult transition in practice. Quite a long novel, it also compresses awkwardly, losing much of its charm and intelligence along the way. The film is not helped by lack-lustre central performances. MacDowell seems out of practice, and Williams (almost invariably seen hitherto in starchy British roles) does not make a convincing Irish housewife. Her emoting seems brittle (even shrill) and she seems uncomfortable with emotion generally. Overall the film looks good and is well filmed, but does not hold the attention except perhaps for die-hard Binchey fans, many of whom will be disappointed at the inevitable over-simplification.
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