In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.
Jada Pinkett Smith
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
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 »
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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