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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 »
I read the book (quite a large one I must say) some months ago and so it was still fresh in my memory when I saw this film. Well, this is one of the worse book adaptations I ever seen! From where to start? From the fact that the 3/4 of the book are literally gone? From the flat performances of all the actors with the likely exception of Andie MacDowel? The miscasting of Ria and Rosemary? The change of Ria in America that it looks like it happened in a split second? Not explaining why the house was that important?
I understand it is a big book and they should to summarized it, but it was supposed not to lose it's meaning on the way. Well, it certainly did. Ria is a strong woman at the book even before her marriage fell apart. In the film she is portrayed like a weakling, ready to collapse from the first set. She has a smile like a retard on her face and she's like wearing a sign "kick me".
Rosemary is supposed to be drop dead gorgeous woman in the book, while in the film she is more like an overdecorated spinster. Danny is supposed to be a man that looks considerably younger than his age, still having boyish looks in his forties. However, the actor looks like he is a 50 year old pretending he is 40 with that ridiculously long hair....
Lastly, the meaning of the house of the title, is that Danny was the one that chose it and hanged on to it in the first place and Ria only learned to love it because of Danny's affection to it. That makes his betrayal even bigger, since he made her love the house and he finally was trying to get her out of it.
The only reasons I did not grade this film with a 4 or a 3, was the cameo appearance of Ms. Binchy (the book's author) at a scene (at the restaurant's bar, the lady dressed in blue) and the somehow more condensed ending, even if seemed quite rushed.
If you really want to feel the magic of Maeve Binchy's book in a film, I would definitely recommend "The Circle of Friends (1995)".
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