TARA ROAD is a thickly populated movie that reaches for the female audience and succeeds in addressing old problems of infidelity and marriage conflicts. The problem is the story by highly published Irish author Maeve Binchy (adapted from Binchy's novel for the screen by Cynthia Cidre) is 'used goods' and while there are many moments of touching dialog there are equal moments of sham resolutions that in the end prove disappointing despite the cast of actors portraying these only occasionally interesting characters.
Two women, each bruised by life events, trade homes (Dublin, Ireland and Connecticut) to find the space to recover. In Connecticut, Marilyn (Andie MacDowell) is recovering from the accidental motorcycle (a birthday gift from his father Greg - August Zirner) death of her young son: grief has made her withdraw and lose her feelings for Greg. In Dublin, Ireland Ria (Olivia Williams) is blissfully happy in her beautiful home on Tara Road which she shares with her two children and her newly discovered unfaithful husband Danny (Iain Glen) - a lothario who has had affairs with Ria's best friend Rosemary (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and now confesses to the pregnancy of his current mistress Bernadette (Heike Makatsch). In too quick an instance Ria and Marilyn decide to swap homes with the hope that separation form their families will give them room to readjust to life. Each woman encounters the friends and neighbors of the other: Marilyn meets restaurateur Colm (Stephen Rea) among Ria's odd assortment of acquaintances while Ria encounters the brother of Greg and some intrusive and over the top friends of Marilyn. Gradually it all comes to a very predictable conclusion that simply solves too many problems too easily.
Director Gillies MacKinnon seems to have difficulty deciding how to maintain a tone for the film - a tearjerker versus a situation comedy. There are moments when the audience connects with some of the characters, but these are too few and separated by far too many stretches of weak writing. Despite some fine acting the movie never quite flies. Grady Harp, October 07
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About the reviewer
Grady Harp (gradyharp)
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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