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Beautiful Girls (Widescreen)

3.7 out of 5 stars 601 customer reviews

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(Apr 20, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An all-star cast sparks this captivating comedy about a group of old friends whose 10-year high school reunion creates some hilariously unexpected surprises. Willie (Timothy Hutton -- FRENCH KISS), Tommy (Matt Dillon -- TO DIE FOR), and Paul (Michael Rapaport -- MIGHTY APHRODITE) may have lost a bit of their youth, but they're still ready to party with Uma Thurman (PULP FICTION), Rosie O'Donnell (TV's THE ROSIE O'DONNELL SHOW), Lauren Holly (DUMB AND DUMBER), and Mira Sorvino (AT FIRST SIGHT) -- the "beautiful girls" who've turned their lives upside down! Also featuring a hot soundtrack, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS is a must-see comic delight that's sure to entertain you!


This town drama from Ted Demme centers on former classmates coming together for their 10-year reunion. Scott Rosenberg's (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead) script thoughtfully passes over the usual grumblings of young adults who can't believe they still live in the same snowbound town. They accept--even welcome--their blue-collar jobs, whether plowing snow or cutting hair. Willie (Timothy Hutton), the lone wanderer, returns to his listless house in a state of flux, the piano-bar circuit wearing thin as is his relationship with Tracy, a well-off attorney (Annabeth Gish). He isn't the only one with problems. Tommy (Matt Dillon) occasionally sleeps with his now-married high school sweetheart Darian (Lauren Holly) while the earnest Sharon (Mira Sorvino) is left to wait. Paul (another thickheaded role for Michael Rapaport) refuses to commit to Jan (Martha Plimpton) until it's too late. Paul is enamored with the idea of the supermodel (the title's "beautiful girls") that, he believes, can make life perfect. It's a very satisfying comedy, with some forced poignancy (Willie's description of Tracy as a "seven and a half" comes off as a death sentence). Rosie O'Donnell's dissertation on why Playboy and Penthouse have ruined males' expectations is much like Meg Ryan's orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally...: it's hilarious, even memorable, never wholly believable.

The two wild cards thrown into Beautiful Girls give the film its kick. Uma Thurman enters as the local barkeep's (Pruitt Taylor Vince) radiant cousin. From the big city, she can flirt with the awestruck guys and still keep her head. Willie's real emotional tug is from Marty, the precocious 13-year-old neighbor. If you didn't see Natalie Portman's sophisticated work in the The Professional, her performance here will come as a revelation. You deeply believe that Willie and Marty are connected despite their age difference. Their courtship will never come to be, but the way the two talk (and talk some more) about their lives is the most insightful part of Rosenberg's script. Everyone's so comfortable in his or her roles that you may truly feel sad when the film ends. --Doug Thomas

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Noah Emmerich, Annabeth Gish, Lauren Holly
  • Directors: Ted Demme
  • Writers: Scott Rosenberg
  • Producers: Alan C. Blomquist, Bob Weinstein, Cary Woods, Cathy Konrad, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (601 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305327084
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beautiful Girls (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I saw this film once before but, unawares, rented it again and, even though I realized I had seen the movie previously after it started, I enjoyed even more the second time. This is quality movie-making: good production values, a good script, good acting. I even ordered a Neil Diamond album after watching the "impromtu" singing of Sweet Caroline in a fun bar scene. Ensemble acting at its best, we have Rose O'Donnell, Uma Thurman and Matt Dillon featured along witn talented others. Timothy Hutton is perhaps the most interesting character in the film as a lost soul and his 30-something character's "romance" with thirteen-year-old Marty played by Natalie Portman is truly remarkable. I don't know what federal laws I was breaking but I was in love with Marty and I secretly hoped that Hutton's character returned to get her when she turned eighteen. What an amazing adult woman in a thirteen-year-old's body! They had a fascinating and strange relationship. Uma Thurman is good as the unavailable spirit who visits and then disappears. Her line about looking for a man who can say (and supposedly mean) just four words ("Good night, sweet girl") was memorable. Rosie O'Donnell's rant about men and their attraction for the false and superficial beauty of media images of women was hilarious and almost show-stopping. Lots to like here.
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The story line of this movie is set at the ten year high school reunion. Listening to the characters was like going to my own reunion. I saw myself and my buddies in these characters. What a classic this is! With an all-star cast including Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon, Lauren Holly, rosie O'Donnell, natalie Portman, Michael Rapaport, Martha Plimpton, Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino and a wonderfully matched soundtrack this movie is hard to top.
Will (Timothy Hutton) is trying to figure out the path his life will take, should he get married or not. But he is intrigued by the little girl next door and starts to think that his future wife may be a bit ordinary. Add to the mix Uma Thurman's out of town character that is beautiful and witty and Will is getting more muddled all the time. The local boys plow snow, drink beer and have affairs with married women, date women for nine years without proposing and raise kid with not clue how to do it. All real life things that we see everyday with ordinary people.
A movie that should not be missed, that an be watched over and over and will make you laugh and ponder the relationships that people get into.
Comment 33 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
A terrific ensemble cast brings this film to life, which focuses on the difficulties some face in making that final, "mental" leap from adolescence to adulthood, and spend way too many years trying to sort it all out. As one of the characters so tellingly puts it at one point, "I'm not anywhere close to being the man I thought I'd be--" and the denial, that failure to accept the fact that time stands still for no man, and the inability to choose which path to take when you hit that inevitable fork in the road, forms the basis for director Ted Demme's examination of how human nature affects the process of maturating, in "Beautiful Girls," a drama featuring Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon and a young Natalie Portman.
Willie Conway (Hutton) is back home in the Midwest for his high school reunion, but more than that, to try and make some decisions about his future. He finds that nothing much has changed-- the town, or his old friends, most of whom seem to be exerting more time and energy attempting to cling to what was, rather than moving on with their lives. Tommy Rowland (Dillon), for instance, the high school "hero," as it were, now drives a snowplow; for all intents and purposes, his life "peaked" in high school, and he can't seem to get past it. Then there's Paul (Michael Rapaport), who just doesn't seem to want to grow up; after a seven year relationship with Jan (Martha Plimpton), he refuses to make that final commitment-- after all, "What's the rush?"
All of which does nothing to help Willie with his own dilemma; the only words of wisdom he gets from anyone, in fact, come from the precocious thirteen-year-old, Marty (Natalie Portman), who lives next door.
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2 Comments 38 of 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Why isn't Natalie's picture on the cover instead of Rosie's? .... Too many people refuse to see this movie because of Rosie. For those, she's not in the movie that much and when she is she's really funny. However, the real reason to see this movie is for the Precocious Portman. There hasn't been a tragedy of this magnitude since Romeo and Juliet. Lines like, 'I just want something beautiful,' are so sad, and then Moe responds, 'We all do,' but unfortunately poor Moe just doesn't get it, as is the case for many men. Most of the reviews give good appreciation to Willie and Marty's relationship- so I won't dwell on what could have been perfection. One addition I think most people miss is when Willie's girl friend arrives: Based on his brother bummer and daddy downer's reactions, Willie thinks he's pretty lucky. Suddenly a solid 7.5 looks a lot better than a 0.0 that his bro and dad are stuck with. Listen to the song as the brother and dad have excited smiles saying 'she was superb' and waving bye as Willie drives away looking at her like 'this was meant to be.' The lyrics go 'It's so easy, to be stupid,' which perfectly describes what's going on. Don't settle for someone who doesn't excite you! The DVD has a great picture pretty good sound and the best reply value, so it's worth owning. I just wish they included some extras. On the back of the box is a picture of Natalie and Timothy sitting together talking. That scene is not in the movie, but it must be somewhere out there. Please include it in a special edition.
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