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A polished gem from 1995, this disarmingly sweet and dramatically insightful love story provided a charming showcase for Chris O'Donnell and, especially, then-newcomer Minnie Driver, whose performance drew critical raves and boosted her career to Hollywood. Smoothly adapted from the novel by Maeve Binchy and set in Ireland during the 1950s, the story focuses on Benny (Driver), a somewhat plump, plain-looking young woman attending university in Dublin who meets and quickly falls for Jack (O'Donnell), a handsome star of the university's rugby team who surprisingly reciprocates her glowing admiration. They're drawn together as soul mates, and their love is dramatically contrasted with a subplot involving Benny's more conventionally beautiful friend Nan (Saffron Burrows), whose appetite for older men leads her into a misguided and ultimately tragic relationship. A betrayal by Jack sets the stage for potential heartbreak, but director Pat O'Connor prevents these carefully drawn characters from resorting to sappy melodrama. They have lessons to learn about life and love, andCircle of Friendsteaches those lessons with grace, humor, and heartfelt sincerity.--Jeff Shannon
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CastAlan Cumming, Chris O'Donnell, Saffron Burrows, Minnie Driver, Geraldine O'Rawe
DirectorPat O'Connor
Screen WriterMaeve Binchy, Andrew Davies
Runtime:  103 minutes
Studio:  Hbo Home Video
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review by . April 29, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
I'll say this, this movie has a fairly original pattern than the standard love stories. Girl meets boy, they develop loving feelings although girl is a little scared. Finally girl stops playing hard to get and her "friend" temporarilly steals boy away. However true love, strength of character, and willingness to forgive and be forgiven win in the end. Overall, a good story. However some fo the middle part lacks a certain spark which can make one's mind wonder. However, critical issues regarding …
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Circle of Friends (1995)
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