Beautiful Girls

In director Ted Demme's smartly written, slice-of-life film, Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) returns to the small town he left behind as erstwhile friends, lovers and the scary thought of settling down swirl around him. A friend's unapproachable cousin (Uma Thurman) and the winsome teenager next door (Natalie Portman, in a standout performance) couldn't be more different, but they afford glimpses of two possible futures.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.5
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 78%
Critics' score: 78   Audience score: 78   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

There is absolutely nothing going on in Beautiful Girls that you haven't seen... [in] any other artistic endeavor in which untethered young men and women, bound by geography and fortified by beer, shamble their way toward overdue maturity. full review

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Beautiful Girls is always in touch with reality but never drowned in it. full review

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine

This startlingly uneventful compendium of thick-headed boy-talk and female tolerance squanders a fine cast on incredibly ordinary characters and situations. full review

Todd McCarthy, Variety

It's the women who break the monotony of this dudes-in-flux saga... full review

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

In a relationship that skirts bad taste, Hutton and Portman make tender movie magic, giving this big-screen spin on Friends its only moments of true romantic yearning.

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

The dialogue isn't the only problem with Beautiful Girls. The characters are bad, too. full review

Jack Mathews, Los Angeles Times

What's nicest about the film is the way it treasures the good feelings people can have for one another. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The movie lacks the stature or consistency to be truly beautiful -- but you know, it is kind of cute.

Mike Clark, USA Today

Portman, a budding knockout, is scene-stealingly good even in an overly showy role. full review

Janet Maslin, New York Times

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, Houston Chronicle

The movie is wry, touching and fun to sit through... full review

Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Borrowing heavily from other, better films, director Ted Demme and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg give each of their male protagonists a case of commitment angst. full review

James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Hutton, understated but not bland for a change, gives his best performance in years. full review

Rita Kempley, Washington Post
full review by Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
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