A Beautiful Life (2008 film)

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A Beautiful Life
Beautiful life poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alejandro Chomski
Written by Wendy Hammond
Starring Jesse Garcia
Angela Sarafyan
Bai Ling
Debi Mazar
Rena Owen
Jonathan LaPaglia
Dana Delany
Gloria Alexandra
Music by Ruy Folguera
Cinematography Nancy Schreiber
Edited by Alex Blatt
Release date
  • August 14, 2008 (2008-08-14) (LAFF)
  • October 2, 2009 (2009-10-02) (United States)
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Beautiful Life is a 2008 American film released by New Films International, adapted from the play Jersey City by Wendy Hammond. The film received a rare 0% score on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.[1]


A young woman, Maggie (Angela Sarafyan), is on the run from her abusive father. David (Jesse Garcia) is an illegal immigrant working as a dishwasher while searching for his mother in Los Angeles. The two meet, and fall in love.



Although produced in 2008, the film was not released widely in North America until October 2, 2009, and first appeared on DVD on March 1, 2011.[1]

This was the second film by New Films International, a long-existing global independent film distribution company based in Sherman Oaks headed by Nesim Hason, whose new American division was led by Tim Swain. The company describes its focus as "festival-driven, high-quality, cast-driven indie films".[2]


A Beautiful Life received poor reviews from the twelve sources noted by the Rotten Tomatoes website.[1] Metacritic gave the film a score of 13 out of 100, summarizing the reviews of the seven critics it measured as "overwhelming dislike".[3]

The New York Times called it a "laughably clichéd dive into sexual masochism",[4] and The Village Voice saw it as a "misery pile up ... about broken souls and crossed paths destined for the trash heap. Scream, smash, slap, cry, repeat."[5]

Slant gave it a half-star out of four, saying that "its awfulness [comes] in so many forms that it's hard to single out just one appalling example".[6] Variety felt that it provided "unintentional laughs by the barrel", and predicted that the film would be a box office bomb.[7] NPR said that although the film deals with some serious topics, the random nature of characters and controversies made it hard to appreciate them,[8] describing it as "too earnest to be a hoot, and too amateurish to be anything else".[8]


  1. ^ a b c Buchanan, Jason. "A Beautiful Life". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ Swart, Sharon (July 15, 2009). "New Films Intl. enters U.S.: Tim Swain to lead domestic distribution unit". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ "A Beautiful Life". Metacritic. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette (October 1, 2009). "Mean Streets and Meaner People". New York Times. p. C10. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Melissa (September 29, 2009). "A Beautiful Life: Misery Pile-Up About An Abused Teenage Runaway". Village Voice. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ Schager, Nick (September 29, 2009). "A Beautiful Life". Slant. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ Barker, Andrew (September 24, 2009). "Review: 'A Beautiful Life'". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jenkins, Mark (October 1, 2009). "Review: 'A Beautiful Life,' Sought In L.A.'s Seedier Corners". NPR. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 

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