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Boys on the Side (1995)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 35,048

My Rating

Movie Info

This emotion-filled story stars Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, and Drew Barrymore as three women from different walks of life who find comfort in each other through tragedy. Parker plays Robin, an HIV-positive real estate executive who meets Jane (Goldberg), a lesbian lounge singer on her way to the West Coast who needs a driver. Robin volunteers for the job, and along the way, they stop in Pittsburgh to visit her friend Holly (Barrymore), who is pregnant and abused by her boyfriend. In an


Drama, Comedy

Don Roos

Nov 6, 2001

Warner Home Video

Watch It Now


Latest News on Boys on the Side

September 5, 2014:
Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette Miss You Already
They join Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine, and Jacqueline Bisset in the Catherine Hardwicke-directed...


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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (9) | DVD (3)

The three women are so spirited and funny -- so emotionally keyed into all the hearts and flowers -- that they give the movie their own kind of truth.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The entire film feels like the result of a market study.

January 1, 2000
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Roos and Ross (and I promise never to put those names together again) are so busy jerking the audience from wacky to teary, and back again, they seem blithely unaware of the howling melodrama of it all.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An engagingly acted, likable, fried green Thelma & Louise.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's decent mass consumption entertainment, but there's not much in the way of meat.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's an original, and what it does best is show how strangers can become friends, and friends can become like family.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

makes me cry every time

December 16, 2003

A bit soapy, yes, but it's high quality soap.

May 12, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Total chick-flick -- but quite a bit better than it looks.

January 24, 2003
New Times

Meddles uneasily between comedy, romance and thrills

September 17, 2002

Touching drama about some idiosyncratic people who must learn how to help and be helped by those who cherish them.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

One of those "chick flicks" that actually tries to wedge some sincerity into the equation.

August 1, 2002

There's not much ... development.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

There are some poignant moments that work, and an awful lot of attempts that fail.

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

That rare creation, an emotional film that actually takes the time to develop characters, although it goes a bit overboard in its third act.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Written with both heart and humor, it's an amazing hybrid of styles you would never think could work so well together.

January 1, 2000
Jam! Movies

Here he has Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore and James Remar to distract us from the depths to which Ross habitually stoops in the never-ending quest to reacquaint an audience with its cheapest emotions.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Boys on the Side

This is a movie I have watched many times over the years and have owned in more than one format (VHS, laserdisc and now DVD... and frankly the transfer on the DVD is so crappy if it comes out on blu here, I am all over it!), so that gives you some idea how much I love it and how biased this review is going to be!
As far as I am concerned, it is the perfect movie about female friendship... another one that leaves SATC in the pale (fun though those movies might be). Casting is perfect. I am far from a Whoopi Goldberg fan (she normally grates on me), but she is really good in this as Jane, a musician and lesbian who meets up with Robin (Mary-Louise Parker - just perfect here. I had never seen her in anything before this and I was drawn to her portrayal of the slightly dorky but beautiful Robin). Both are looking to leave town for various reasons and decide to car pool to California, though seemingly totally incompatible. Along the way they pick up Jane's friend Holly (Drew Barrymore - also a perfect role for her) who has got herself into a bit of a scrape with her dodgy boyfriend.
The three get to know each other better, secrets come out and long lasting friendships are formed. The ending is incredibly sad and moves me to tears everytime without fail. I don't want to say more than that and ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen this. Even though the twist which leads to the end is revealed fairly early on in the movie, you do still kind of hope it will not happen as you just really can't wish any bad on this emotionally scarred character.
I had not realised that Matthew McConaughey plays the policeman Holly falls in love with - I have not watched this movie in a few years, and I probably didn't really know who he was at the time. (Now of course he is in just about every chick flick going). He is pretty slimy here - both himself and the character, so I guess he suits it!
May 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

The Best and precious gift ever is laughter and the miracle of friendship.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

his road/buddy movie explores the special relationships that can develop among women. Little emotionally friendship story on the road, but sadly at the end.
December 18, 2007
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

    1. Jane: The farther away from the body I get, the happier I'll be.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
    1. Robin: Don't you knock.
    2. Jane: Not in a public toilet, no.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
    1. Massarelli: Are you a lesbian too, Ms. Nickerson?
    2. Robin: No, sir, but at times I understand inclination.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
    1. Jane: She's holding you back, man. Everyone says so. She's like Yoko with bangs.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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