Men. We're just boys who refuse to grow up. Never content with the good things in our life we take things for granted and often end up hurting ourselves more than anyone else. We live in a fantasy world not unlike children.
'Beautiful Girls' is about such men. Set in northern Illinois, Willie is a piano player in Chicago who returns to his hometown for his high school reunion. His old chums are still living in the working class community doing blue collar jobs. Willie is the romantic of the group with a talent that sets him apart from the other lads; however, he's starting to question his life, professionally and personally. His girlfriend back home is the source of his longing for something new, something different.
Willie meets his father's neighbor, Marty. At the tender age of 13 she's incredibly literate and well spoken. Willie is taken with her charm and finds himself drawn to the teenager as she's the only one in the town that seems to be as cultured as him. Given the age difference he understands the nature of the girl's attention and sees himself as a mentor of sorts.
Willie's friends are all having their own little crisis. Tommy can't seem to let go of his younger days and sleeps with his now married high school sweetheart, much to the sorrow of his current girlfriend. Paul is missing his ex, who he never really loved in the first place, but now that she's with someone else he's fighting for her heart as best as he knows how, with results that are mixed at best. The rest of the gang are as equally pathetic who just can't seem to get their emotional house in order.
Enter Andrea, a supermodel beauty that's visiting the town as well. Immediately she captures the attention of the guys; however being more than a pretty face she's incredibly cool and wise as well. Being the voice of reason for men who can't seem to think reasonably she bonds with them and shows a few how completely naive and ridiculous they are.
Much like the superior 'Diner', 'Beautiful Girls' is a touching film about men who are afraid to grow up and accept the responsibilities normally attributed to men. Not a new theme for sure, but one that's entertaining. The acting is good for the most part and Rosie O'Donnell's monologue is so hilarious that it almost makes up for everything else she's done. Natalie Portman shows off her talent brilliantly and it makes you forget how terrible she was in the 'Star Wars' films. If you haven't guessed already I do recommend this.
Thanks to Scott for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"Portman was memorable as the little girl in The Professional, but her work here throws off an eeriness in its revelation of such huge talent in one so young." - Jeff Millar