Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Chris O'Donnell
Minnie Driver
Saffron Burrows.
Directors
Screenwriters
Running Time
102 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
London Road
4 Star Empire Rating
Les Combattants
3 Star Empire Rating
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films
4 Star Empire Rating
Poltergeist
2 Star Empire Rating
Return To Sender
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating

Circle of Friends
College shenanigans


submit to reddit


Plot
A story about the lives, loves and betrayals of three Irish girls, Bennie Eve and Nan as they go to Trinity College, Dublin. Bennie soon seems to have found her ideal man in Jack, but events conspire to ruin their happiness.


Review
The most unpredictable thing about this otherwise formula romance, based on the Maeve Binchy best-seller, is that while the frumpy, frizz-haired heroine Benny (Driver) has two suitors beating the front door down, her more cutesome colleagues Eve (Geraldine O’Rawe) and Nan (Burrows) clock up only one apiece. Strange, certainly, but in these days of uniformly curvaceous heroines it makes for an endearing twist.
Benny and Eve are two nice smalltown Catholic girls in 50s Ireland who head off to Dublin University and meet up with an old friend, the sophisticated Nan. She introduces them to college rugby star Jack Foley (O’Donnell with dodgy Irish accent) who bypasses the more shapely students for Benny, although her religious beliefs prevent her from surrendering her virginity to her frustrated beau.
Back home things aren’t so rosy: Benny not only clashes with her staid parents, but also has to escape the advances of sleazy local boy Sean (Alan Cumming). While she and Eve discuss the merits of giving in to their respective blokes, Nan is actually getting down to business with aristocratic older man Simon (Firth).
From here on in it’s strictly by the book: unwanted pregnancy, sudden death, and a series of deceptions which threaten Jack’s chances of ever getting a shag again, all appear as predicted. But despite its glaring obviousness, this is charming enough to captivate the viewer, producing unexpectedly strong female characters and faultless attention to detail. Director O’Connor effortlessly conjuring up the innocence of the era, introducing a streak of sexuality absent from Binchy’s sedate novel, and, overall, create an enchanting, if denture-rottingly sweet, yarn.


Verdict
Sweet romance


Reviewed by Caroline Westbrook

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Barbarians And Battletrucks: The Weird World Of Mad Max Knock-Offs
20 diversions along the Fury Road

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)