I often have discussions with movie lover friends about films that stay with me in a certain way. Films like When Harry Met Sally, Home for the Holidays, The Family Stone, Psycho, Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane and pretty much any Woody Allen film all have one thing in common with me. They all have characters that I tend to remember as old friends instead of just movie characters. For some reason those certain characters will always be familiar to me and will always be fondly remembered. Beautiful Girls is another such film.
Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) is a jazz pianist in New York and has just returned to his hometown of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts for a high school reunion. But Willie has ulterior motives for coming back home; his life is in shambles in New York with his job not going well and a pending crossroads in his relationship with his long-time girlfriend. In Knights Ridge, Willie reunites with his old friends who seem to have not changed at all. Willie also befriends a young girl who lives beside his father’s house (Natalie Portman) who may just be the person he needs to meet to open his eyes to the choices he has in life.
I cannot watch Beautiful Girls without getting that warm, fuzzy feeling of comforting familiarity. I love the characters so much, especially Timothy Hutton’s Willie and Natalie Portman’s Marty. This is a film that makes you examine your own life and appreciate what you do have. It is a film about old friends, old memories, and moving ahead with your own future. In addition you also get lots of laughs, an amazing cast of actors including Rosie O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, Annabeth Gish, Lauren Holly, Martha Plimpton, Michael Rapaport, and Mira Sorvino and a Neil Diamond sing along scene. Could you really ask for anything more?
The Blu-ray from Echo Bridge is a welcome addition to any collection. The transfer is a nice upgrade from the old DVD version if not exactly what we have come to expect from Blu-ray. The picture is cleaner, with better detail and color, but still has a bit of a washed out look to it. But any improvement is welcome and I think the low budget flick looks great anyways. I am just happy to have it on Blu-ray at all.
Available March 26, 2013 on Blu-ray.