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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 taking place in New England include bare mesas (bluffs) in the background. The South African filming location reveals itself. See more »
Ria (Olivia Williams) lives in Dublin with her husband and two children, a newly teen girl and son a couple of years younger. Their residence is called Tara Road. Alas, bad, hurtful news arrives soon enough. After a birthday party for her younger child, hubby announces that he has a galfriend on the side and she's pregnant. Devastated, Ria doesn't know which way to turn. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Marilyn (Andie McDowell) is equally in despair. Her only child, a teen son, had a motorcycle accident and passed away, also at a birthday party. Not even her caring husband can raise her spirits. She sends him off to a vacation in Hawaii alone, for she has other plans. A while ago, Marilyn heard of a house swap in Dublin and calls the number. It's Ria, who answers in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, this exchange sounds just like what she needs, too. So, off Ria goes to Connecticut while Marilyn boards a plane to Ireland. Slowly, the plan works. Marilyn meets a gardener/chef Colin (Stephen Rea) whose gentle attention and good humor helps this Yankee immensely. Then, Ria is beset with Marilyn's good buddies who plan outings and conversations. But, is there still some secrets to uncover? If it is so, will Ria and Marilyn learn to unlock their hearts again? This lovely movie has too little of Ireland but otherwise is great! Actually, the scenes in Dublin are wonderful and so are the venues in the States. In addition, the acting is touching, with Williams and McDowell giving carefully nuances performances and the supporting cast, even the so-called villains, doing fine work, too. Costumes, script and steady direction help move the film admirably to the end. Are you a person grieving the loss of someone important or do you just like romantic, thoughtful dramas? Then, tarry someday with Tara Road very soon.
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