Watch Beautiful Girls
- 1 hr 52 min
Beautiful Girls, released in 1996, is a drama film about a group of friends who reunite in their hometown, a small town in Massachusetts, for their high school reunion. The movie is directed by Ted Demme and stars Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton and Noah Emmerich in the lead roles, with an additional all-star cast including Uma Thurman, Natalie Portman, Lauren Holly, and Michael Rapaport.
The film follows Willie Conway (Dillon), a piano bar performer in New York City who is struggling with relationships and career. He comes back to his hometown for his high school reunion to face his conflicted emotions towards his longtime girlfriend Tracy (Holly) and reconnect with his old friends Tommy (Hutton) and Paul (Emmerich). Tommy is a struggling writer, unhappy in his relationship with his girlfriend Sharon (Mira Sorvino) and haunted by his lost youth. Paul, a car salesman with a girlfriend named Jan (Martha Plimpton), is obsessed with the idea of sexual conquest and has a wandering eye for the teenage girls in town.
One of the major themes explored in Beautiful Girls is the fear of growing up and missing out on life. The characters all face different challenges in their lives, but the one thing they all have in common is the sense of nostalgia for their youth and the fear of losing it as they grow older. The movie explores the depths of their insecurities and the struggles they face in finding their places in the world. The film is a meditation on life, love, relationships, and the complexities of human nature.
Another major theme in Beautiful Girls is the concept of beauty, both inner and outer. The title of the film, Beautiful Girls, might suggest an exploitative depiction of attractive-yet-shallow women, but the film defies such concerns. The male characters all appreciate the physical beauty of the women in the town, but the film also highlights the inner beauty of the female characters, particularly Tracy and Andera (Thurman), the latter being an old acquaintance of the boys who is visiting the town for a few weeks. The character of Andera serves as a contrast to the cool bravado of Willie, as she is confident, assertive, and candid, a sharp contrast to the more introverted women Willie is accustomed to.
Throughout the movie, the characters' internal conflicts play out in a way that reflects the changing seasons of New England. The film is set against the backdrop of the frozen tundras and snow-covered landscapes of winter, and as the story unfolds, so too does the cycle of life in the town. The characters' stories are woven together in a way that beautifully captures the essence of the human experience - both the highs and the lows of life that are unique to everyone.
Beautiful Girls features a talented ensemble cast, each delivering a remarkable performance that captures the complexities of their characters. They all have their own struggles, flaws and strengths, and each actor imbues their character with a real sense of authenticity. Dillon is wonderful in his portrayal of the self-doubting but charismatic musician, Hutton is heartbreaking as the struggling writer, and Emmerich is gloriously over-the-top as the lecherous car salesman. Among the supporting cast, there are standout performances from Plimpton, Portman, Sorvino, and Thurman, who steals the show with her mesmerizing portrait of the sharp-witted and confident Andera.
The film's director, Ted Demme, was only 33 years old when he made Beautiful Girls and his youth and energy show in his direction of the film. He captured the essence of the town of Knights Ridge and the people who inhabit it with breathtaking precision. He made a film that is rich in character, atmosphere and nuanced emotions, a film that is both funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
Beautiful Girls may not have achieved blockbuster status when it was initially released, but it has since become a cult classic, a film that continues to resonate with audiences today. The movie has stood the test of time because its themes are universal, its characters are relatable and authentic, and its performances are top-notch. Beautiful Girls is a beautiful film about life and love, and its legacy will undoubtedly endure for years to come.
Beautiful Girls is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 64.