February 9, 1996
Web posted at: 10:55 a.m. EST
From Correspondent Jim Moret
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- "Beautiful Girls" is a coming-of-age film for a group of twenty-somethings focusing on relationships and the age-old question: What makes a girl beautiful?
The eclectic ensemble cast includes Rosie O'Donnell, Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman, Matt Dillon, and recent Golden Globe winner Mira Sorvino.
Directed by Ted Demme, the film centers on a high school reunion in a small Massachusetts town that pits the guys against the girls in an emotional battle of the sexes.
Sorvino's on-screen relationship with Dillon is complicated by the return of his ex-girlfriend played by Lauren Holly, who plays the girl that every high school co-ed loves to hate: "She was probably homecoming queen, prom queen, head cheerleader, best car, best boyfriend, best clothes," says Holly.
But the film, says Sorvino, seeks to put flashy lifestyles and good looks in perspective by stressing the importance of relationships between people. "It's the relationships between people that are more important than the sort of far away fantasies of what the good life is, the world of supermodels and Bud ads," Sorvino says.
In the middle of these Generation Xers is 15-year-old Natalie Portman, the youngest and wisest member of the cast. Her lack of cynicism and innocence are played out as her strengths, her maturity.
"She's really explaining things to them that they probably knew when they were kids," says Portman. "Now, as they're growing up ... they're starting to analyze everything to death they kind of forget those simple logical things that kids know." (170K AIFF sound or 170K WAV sound)
Hutton says Portman's character throws into relief everybody's else's pettiness and greed. "She just has this way in the film of making everyone realize that they got it pretty good," he says. "They're kind of always thinking the grass is always greener, but maybe they should stay with what they have."
That universal message may help to broaden the appeal of "Beautiful Girls" from the twenty-something crowd to adult audiences of all ages.
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