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Beautiful Girlsis a 1996 Americandirected byTed Demmefrom a screenplay written byScott Rosenberg, starringMatt DillonLauren HollyTimothy HuttonRosie ODonnellMartha PlimptonNatalie PortmanMichael RapaportMira SorvinoandUma Thurman.
Willie Conway goes home for his high school class reunion in Knights Ridge,Massachusetts. He is at a crossroads in his life and cannot decide if he should marry his girlfriend. He cannot decide if he should quit his music and take a job as a salesman. Over the course of the film, he spends time with his old friends who are all at similar crossroads. By the end, they all discover what it is that they want.
Timothy Huttonas Willie Conway, the only one of the group to move away to New York City, working as a semi-successful pianist. Generally the good guy in the group, his home life is somewhat fractured. His mother is deceased and his father is emotionally withdrawn. He also has a juvenile younger brother, Bobby (David Arquette).
Matt Dillonas Tommy Birdman Rowland, head snow plower and former high school football star. Tommy seems to be ashamed that he never rose to his full potential in life. Known as the tough one of his group. Tommy seems not to have let go of his youth, and is still having an affair with Darian Smalls, an old high school flame. This puts a considerable strain on his relationship with his current girlfriend, Sharon.
Noah Emmerichas Michael Mo Morris, a factory manager by profession. Unlike his friends, humble Mo has happily settled down with a family, but still does have a temper when provoked. Admires Willie greatly for how far he has traveled in his life.
Max Perlichas Kev, snow plower and Tommys co-worker. Kev is cast as kind of a pathetic little guy. Hes not quite a dork or a geek but definitely would not be considered popular. However he is likely the most loyal of friends despite being a bit on the outer fringe of the circle. The wisecracking Kev has to reluctantly look the other way when Darian enters the picture, well aware of Tommys relationship with her of which he does not approve.
Michael Rapaportas Paul Kirkwood, snow plower who is obsessed with centerfold models. Paul cannot let go of his old relationship with a waitress (Martha Plimpton) after she delivered an ultimatum to him. A crass guy who cannot resist tormenting his ex-girlfriend by plowing snow into her garage door.
Pruitt Taylor Vinceas Stanley Stinky Womack, the hardworking and humble proprietor/bartender of a local bar that he recently purchased and renovated. A generally good guy who knows the limits of right and wrong.
Annabeth Gishas Tracy Stover, Willies long-term girlfriend, a beautiful attorney who might be Willies future spouse.
Lauren Hollyas Darian Smalls, Tommys old love interest from high school, unhappily married with one daughter. Darian can not resist Tommy, which upsets both parties.
Rosie ODonnellas Gina Barrisano, friend and hair stylist of the women. A fast-talker who spouts pearls of wisdom in a heavy New York accent.
Martha Plimptonas Jan, Pauls on-again-off-again girlfriend who is vegetarian and dating a meat-cutter. This irritates Paul to no end, though he relents when she gets engaged.
Natalie Portmanas Marty, who describes her thirteen-year-old self as an old soul. She is the Conway familys neighbor, who has eyes for Willie and wishes that he will wait until she turns 18 so that they can walk through this world together, though she understands when he explains how she will outgrow her attraction to him, much asChristopher RobinoutgrewWinnie the Pooh.
Mira Sorvinoas Sharon Cassidy, Tommys current girlfriend, who tries her best to make Tommy happy despite Darians intrusive presence.
Uma Thurmanas Andera, Stinkys cousin from Chicago. Very attractive and fairly wise. Briefly aids Paul in making his ex jealous. A girl from the big city who is able to appreciate the pace of a small town. She is everything that a guy from Knights Ridge would want in a woman. Ultimately she helps Willie find a little more direction in life.
Anne Bobbyas Sarah Morris, Mos wife and high school sweetheart, mother of two children. She seems to lack self-confidence and is a bit passive aggressive. She does not seem to have strong opinions of her own and is kind of the third wheel of her group.
Richard Brightas Dick Conway, Willies father.
David Arquetteas Bobby Conway, Willies brother.
Sam Robardsas Steve Rossmore, Darians husband.
John Carroll Lynchas Frank Womack, Stinkys bartender
The bandThe Afghan Whigshas a cameo appearance in the film.Greg Dulli, the bands lead singer, was close friends with Ted Demme.
ScreenwriterScott Rosenbergwas living inNeedham, Massachusetts, waiting to see ifDisneywould use his script forCon Air. He said in an interview, It was the worst winter ever in this small hometown. Snow plows were coming by, and I was just tired of writing these movies with people getting shot and killed. So I said, There is more action going on in my hometown with my friends dealing with the fact that they cannot deal with turning 30 or with commitmentall that becameBeautiful Girls.2
Originally,James L. Brookswas interested in directing the film, according to actressLeslie Mann, who auditioned for a role but was not cast.3
Ted Demme had the entire cast come toMinneapolisand live together for two to three weeks so that they could bond. Filming took place in theTwin Cities Metro Areacommunities ofEdinaMarine-on-St. CroixandStillwater, with Demme wanting to make sure that the setting was a character unto itself. He wanted to make it look like its Anytown USA, primarily East Coast. And I also wanted it to feel like a real working class town.4To this end, Demme drew inspiration fromMichael CiminosThe Deer Hunter(1978). The first third of the film is really an amazing buddy movie with those five actors. You could tell they were best friends, but they all had stuff amongst them that was personal to each one of them.4
Principal filmingtook place between February 28 – May 7, 1995.5
Scott Rosenberg co-produced and co-wrote for the 2007-2008 TV seriesOctober Road. The show is loosely based on what happened afterBeautiful Girlscame out and how his friends reacted to a movie about their lives. BothBeautiful GirlsandOctober Roadtake place in the fictionalMassachusettstown of Knights Ridge, and have similar characters, jobs, plot lines.
Beautiful Girls: Music from the Motion Picture
Afghan WhigsCant Get Enough of Your Love, Babe5:21
The SpinnersCould It Be Im Falling in Love4:31
Additional tracks (not included on soundtrack)
The Greg Kihn BandThe Breakup Song (They Dont Write Em)
Bernie Wyte and his OrchestraNever on Sunday
The film was released on February 9, 1996 in 752 theaters, grossing $2.7 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.5 million in North America.1
The film received fairly positive reviews and currently has a 78% rating onRotten TomatoesRoger Ebertof theChicago Sun-Timeswrote: Whats nicest about the film is the way it treasures the good feelings people can have for one another.7InThe Washington Post, Desson Howe praised Natalie Portmans performance: As a self-described old soul who connects spiritually with Hutton (theyre both existential searchers), shes the movies most poignant and witty presence.8
However, Jack Mathews, in theLos Angeles Times, wrote that the film was about as much fun as a neighborhood bar on a Tuesday night. Its crisis: not much happening.9In herNew York TimesreviewJanet Maslinwrote thatNatalie Portmangot the films archest dialogue, and called her a budding knockout, and scene-stealingly good even in an overly showy role.10
Alexander, Peter. Scott Rosenberg: Off to a Beautiful Start.
Ryan, Kyle (September 28, 2007).Random Roles: Leslie Mann.
. Archived fromthe originalon February 12, 2008
Griffin, Dominic (1996). An Interview With Ted Demme, Director of
Beautiful Girls (1996) Filming & ProductionIMDB
Beautiful Girls – Original Soundtrack – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic.
. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived fromthe originalon 2006-10-24
Mathews, Jack (February 9, 1996).High School Buddies Take Stock in Girls
.Archivedfrom the original on December 4, 2008
Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg interviewat Kid in the Front Row Film Blog
Wikipedia introduction cleanup from March 2014
Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from March 2014
This page was last edited on 17 May 2019, at 23:56