Tara Road Reviews
Andie, as Marilyn, is a married American woman who grieves over her dead
son who died on his birthday in a heartrending motorcycle accident (caught on video/film by someone at the party) and who has blamed her husband for the death due to his having bought the motorcycle.
Across the ocean in Ireland is a married woman (Olivia Williams as Ria) whose husband reveals that he is leaving her for a pregnant girlfriend whom he swears he loves.
These two women first meet accidentally by phone when Marilyn calls Ria's number looking for help in finding someone to agree to exchange homes so that Marilyn can escape from her home even as she refuses to join her husband on a trip with him.
These two women become like "fish out of water" upon arriving at the other end of their journeys (they don't meet each other in person, even by this point) but soon circumstances and the people they meet bring about changes in each of their lives.
Especially touching is when Ria's children meet Marilyn (they're not with their mother at this time) and Marilyn opens up to them about her son dying (in response to one of the children's innocent questions).
Ria comes close to losing her house due to her husband and his firm's failure to take care of their debts but Marilyn and others come to her aid. In a surprise twist, Marilyn's husband comes to see her in Ireland and they have a happy reunion as Marilyn is much freer, even happy by this time.
Even the cheating husband strikes a chord occasionally and draws out sympathy even though he is a cad (because things don't go his way) and one gets the sense that rather than being a bad man that he is someone who just didn't do the right thing and pays the price in the end.
Ultimately the two women do meet, if briefly, and they marvel at the change(s) in themselves. A fascinating and warm film that does justice to the novel. 19 out of 10!
I think this would maybe appeal to an older woman, or one who has dealt with infidelity or loss of a child.
Of the two I warmed more to Ria, played nicely by Olivia Williams. Andie Macdowell I found very dry here. Though I felt sorry for her, I did not especially feel moved or overly convinced.
The movie itself is filmed very nicely and the soundtrack works well. I would say it is okay to catch on tv, but not a must-see.