Marilyn Vine?s (Andie MacDowell) idyllic life in Connecticut is devastated by the tragic death of her only son Dale during his 15th birthday party. 3,000 miles away, Ria Lynch?s (Olivia Williams) marriage comes to a stunni... more »ngly abrupt end in Dublin, Ireland, when husband Danny (Iain Glen) reveals that he is leaving her for his pregnant mistress, Bernadette (Heike Makatsch). An accidental phone call brings these two otherwise unrelated women together and, in their mutual need for space and time alone, they agree to a two-month house exchange. In swapping homes, both women slowly find healing and strength through new surroundings and the kindness of others and gradually learn to accept the reality of their changed lives.« less
Sandra S. (ratracesandra) from CUMMING, GA Reviewed on 11/24/2008...
wonderful movie of love, loss, acceptance, and moving forward.....
Perhaps changing surroundings can help
R. M. Williams | tucson, arizona USA | 11/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is a fascinating plot, well executed, with excellent character acting, well worth a watching.
The plot is about two hurting women. The first lost her son in a motorcycle accident on his birthday, on the motorcycle his father gave them. The second has just found out that her husband's girlfriend is pregnant and he is leaving the wife for the girlfriend. both women hope that a change of scenery offers a chance to fix what ails them. so they exchange houses for the summer.
What happens with each reflects partly the conditions, partly each woman's desire to heal and be whole again. The Dublin house is on Tara Road, it is the center of a large family with lots of social connections. The New England house is private, not surrounded by neighbors but isolated from all but 2 or 3. In a believable and understandable way, each woman adapts to her new surroundings, adopts the others house along with all of the other woman's attachments and begin to fix what ails them.
It is cute without being maudlin, you cheer for each, sharing their pain and hopes for a better life. You grimace when she takes the stupid husband back into her bed one last time, you love it when she tosses the vases and the bust at him. It is a tear jerker of a movie, with about equal amounts of tears and cheers, an upbeat ending where the bad guys suffer at the hands of their long suffering wives. All in all a decent movie."
Maeve Binchy's Marvelous Novel Comes to the Screen
Antoinette Klein | Hoover, Alabama USA | 12/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was thrilled to find this released on DVD in the US. Although it had played in theatres abroad, it was never released for big-screen viewing in US. Too bad, as I found it most enjoyable and a reminder of how great Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road" was as a novel.
Although the movie only recounts about the final half of the book, the director has been able to lay open the characters of Marilyn and Ria and expose their deepest hurts in this engrossing tale of crumbling marriages. Andie McDowell gives an excellent portrayal of the emotionally frozen Marilyn, a Connecticut mother, reeling from the death of her fifteen-year-old son on his birthday. The surprise gift from his Dad, a motorcycle, leads to his death and causes a wide rift between the parents. Across the Atlantic at another birthday party in Dublin, the content Ria Lynch (Olivia Williams) learns from her husband Danny (Iain Glen) that he is leaving her for his pregnant girlfriend. Both women are at the end of their emotional ropes and through a midnight phone call are connected and arrange a house swap. Believing no problem is so big it can't be run away from, the two women each slip easily into the other's life. Each learns in her own way that life will never be the same but that doesn't mean it is over. Binchy's wonderful tale of healing transfers to the screen thanks to outstanding casting, lush scenery, and heartfelt situations. "Tara Road" is a most enjoyable movie to curl up and entertain yourself with for a couple of hours.
Get Ready for a Total Chick Flick
R. Angeloni | Northern California, USA | 11/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When they define the term "chick flick" in future dictionaries, Tara Road will likely be cited as a perfect example of the genre.
The film, starring Andie McDowell, is well done. As usual McDowell turns in a workmanlike performance as Marilyn, whose son dies in a motorcycle accident, in front of friends and family, during his birthday celebration. She becomes depressed and blames her husband for their son's death.
Olivia Williams also turns in a fine performance as Ria, Irish housewife whose husband is cheating on her. These two clearly have communication problems; in the beginning of the movie, she tells him she wants to have another child; he in turn tells her he has been having an affair.
So what happens? The two women hook up by phone a decide, in about two minutes, to switch residences and rebuild their lives. Marilyn acclimates herself to the Irish countryside, and Ria moves to Connecticut, loosens up and meets Marilyn's sassy friends.
The film is very formulaic. I did not read the book but some of the dialogue is sophmoric and I was surprised the actors were able to deliver their lines with a straight face. If you have some time to kill, and it's raining outside, go ahead and watch it. Otherwise, read the book. You'll probably find it more entertaining. "
Engrossing Character Piece
James Duckett | St. George, Utah | 10/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a good movie in several aspects. First was that it was a character piece, which is always a favorite genre of mine, even though the ending was a bit unrealistic.
For the most part, the movie was believable and I really cared for the characters involved. The acting was spot on and the actors involved give a stunning performance. Though it is not usually a highlight of mine, but the camera work was fantastic with all of the scenic shots of New England and Ireland. It was just beautiful. The pace of the movie was pretty good as well in that it wasn't going to fast but it kept the story rolling fast enough that it wasn't putting me to sleep either. The right balance was maintained for this movie from beginning to end. All in all, the movie was entertaining.
My only negative comment on this movie was how I felt after watching this movie. Instead of feeling inspired or enlightened I felt depressed instead.
Despite the fine acting, this movie is definitely a chick flick so if you are into that type of thing then this is a movie you need to rush out and pick up."
Should have been better, but probably just shouldn't have be
cmp | Merrimack, NH USA | 10/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Quickly, I'll get the DVD features out of the way - there are next to none, at least on the advanced copy. The special features have some previews and an interview with Maeve Binchy - that's it. There are subtitles for closed captioning and Spanish, but no other audio choices - no Dolby choices or DTS.
I have to go on also by saying that I'm not a big Andie MacDowell fan. She always seems a little stilted and plastic to me - this movie is no exception. There's just so rarely any emotion in her face, and it's disconcerting for me. Maeve Binchy's novels are generally OK for me, but she's also not my favorite author, so that may have something to do with it. Olivia Williams as Ria, however, is neatly luminous and a high point for the movie.
The beginning of the movie is pretty slow. I understand that we need to know why there's a house exchange, but... Much of the set up just seems somewhat unnecessary. I am a reader and nearly always prefer books to movies - I feel that this slow set-up would have been fine in the book, but movies by necessity have to go faster or they'll end up boring.
I just can't help but feel that this was not a book that should have been made into a movie. The cast is good enough, my dislike of Andie aside, it's probably a lovely romantic novel - in fact I have several friends who've told me how much they loved the book - but there's just not enough action to warrant a film. I would say that it reminds me somewhat of "Under the Tuscan Sun" - another fine book that didn't translate well to the big screen. However, if you enjoyed that movie, well, this one might be right up your alley. "