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Beautiful Girls

Beautiful Girls (1996)



Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 10

A warm, thoughtful dramedy about male insecurity, Beautiful Girls is buoyed by an excellent cast - particularly Natalie Portman in a stunning early role.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 5

A warm, thoughtful dramedy about male insecurity, Beautiful Girls is buoyed by an excellent cast - particularly Natalie Portman in a stunning early role.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 21,616

My Rating

Movie Info

A high-school reunion in a snowy New England town brings together a diverse band of former classmates. They include NYC pianist Willie Timothy Hutton who has found only small success playing night clubs and is considering taking a job as a supply salesman. While in town, Willie, who is having relationship problems with his girlfriend, finds himself becoming friends with 13 year-old Marty Natalie Portman. Then there's Tommy Matt Dillon, the aging jock who though seriously involved with Sharon


Drama, Comedy

Scott Rosenberg

Apr 3, 2001

Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (10) | DVD (7)

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

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Women may be unimpressed, but men will squirm with recognition.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film really succeeds with its warm treatment of ordinary hang-ups -- no life-shattering revelations or pain repressed since childhood, just the genuine, everyday trials of life.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Natalie Portman, as a 13-year-old on whom Hutton develops a strangely affecting crush, is a delight.

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Demme's conversational film is about the gaping chasm between what men say and what they feel. It may not tell us anything new, but its eloquence is quietly rewarding.

November 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

Natalie Portman steals all the scenes with Timothy Hutton and lights up the movie...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Ted Demme's coming of age tale is about guys in their 20s who refuse or are unable to mature, which might explain why the most captivating relationship is between Timothy Hutton and the 13-year-old Natalie Portman.

April 4, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A film about relationships and growing older that's funny and smart.

September 2, 2004
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Not a whole lot goes on, but what does go on is engaging enough to merit a look.

January 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

Wise and clever, a refreshingly different take on gender relations.

January 17, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Hits the spot with its wry observations on sexual politics.

August 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

With only a few lapses, Scott Rosenberg's script is so good it outshines his much-praised Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead.

June 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

While apt at times, often it seems overwrought and muddled.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

With better editing (Jeffrey Wolf) and directing (Ted Demme) the movie could have survived the script, but alas it was not to be.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

A routine entry in the genre, with nothing in particular to recommend it, aside from an attractive cast.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Beautiful Girls

"Beautiful Girls is my kind of movie. It has a great cast, a smart script, and it's funny. I love Rosie O'Donnell. I think she's really funny in this. Her rambling about the perfect woman compared to a real woman was something to be watched. I thought it was really honest and funny. Many guys have these pictures on their walls and under their beds thinking that they may one day be able to have it. The thing is, women too have a picture of a perfect chisled man in mind. But this is how we differ, we know the difference between a fantasy and reallity. Michael Rapaport's character, Paul, is a perfect example of the men I described. Rosie O'Donnell says it best in her rant.

The best performances for me was from O'Donnell, Hutton, and Portman. Although Huttons' character creeped me out a bit. If you've seen the movie or plan to, you will understand why.

Not an amazing movie, but it was good enough for my tastes. I would watch it again. "
January 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

The first time I saw this movie, I LOVED IT. The second time, I thought it was just okay, maybe even a little below okay. Perhaps, due to the lack of subtitles on this particular disc I now own, I couldn't READ the movie while viewing it, so I noticed that a few performances didn't capture the gravitas of the screenplay.

I remember loving Paul's slam poetry ode to supermodels (how "they're bottled promise...hope dancing in stiletto heels" and how that's as good as love), but something in Michael Rapaport's faux-gangsta posture and gait seems stilted, as if he wasn't completely sold on his character's near sociopathic rant of genius. I also remember loving Willie's meditation on thirteen-year-old Marty (how she will blossom into awesomeness in ten years and that he'd wait for her), but the cinematography is too staid and the effect of the moving monologue whispers pedophilia before it whispers, say...imprinting (ala Twilight werewolves). I also also remember loving Mo's raving, nonsensical battle cry, "YOU FUCK WITH ME, YOU FUCK WITH YOU! YOU GO TO THE FOUNTAIN, YOU DRINK? YOU DON'T DRINK!" but the loud audio makes it difficult to hear actual words.

All in all, a damn shame cuz the coming-of-middle-age story is quite beautiful, and the young Natalie Portman as Marty is indeed precocious and magnetic.
December 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

This would qualify for my teen angst movies, except it is 20's angst. Six small-town guys are in town for a school reunion, and all are in various crossroads. Do I get married? Do I continue my affair? What about my job? The only thing wrong with the movie is that in one short weekend, they mostly figure out what they want to do with their lives. If only life was so easy.
May 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

Natalie Portman is the only person that would make a quasi-romance with a 40-year-old seem somewhat appealing.
April 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Tommy (Birdman) Rowland: What's with you, man?
    2. Paul Kirkwood: What?
    3. Tommy (Birdman) Rowland: Well, how much you pay for this brown rock?
    4. Paul Kirkwood: What difference does it make?
    5. Tommy (Birdman) Rowland: What difference does it make? Diamonds are supposed to be colorless! You go out and buy a colored diamond for a girl you're not even seeing, man, you've been eating retard sandwiches again.
    – Submitted by Félix C (15 months ago)
    1. Andera: You know there are fours words I need to hear before I go to sleep. Four little words. Good night sweet girl. That's all it takes. I'm easy, I know, but a guy who can muster up those four words is a guy I want to stay with.
    – Submitted by Sahra R (2 years ago)
    1. Steve Rossmore: [to Tommy] Let me get this straight. I can't buy you a drink, but you can put your d**k into my wife?
    – Submitted by Jodie M (2 years ago)
    1. Willie Conway: You know in five years you won't even remember me.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
    1. Michael (Mo) Morris: Mo: You beat up my friend, you beat up me! You fuck with my friend, you fuck with me! You fuck with me, you fuck with you! (To the wonderfully puzzled looks of Willie and Bobby.)
    – Submitted by Shane R (3 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

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  • Beautiful Girls (1996) (UK)
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