In this coming-of-age story set in both the 1970s and 1990s, the younger cast is brilliant and natural, particularly Christina Ricci and Gaby Hoffmann. The script soars with female teenage humor, friendship, and pre-puberty naivete -- a sprightly soundtrack of 70s tunes takes older viewers down memory lane. But then, just when the story about four best friends during summer vacation in a new housing development is clipping along at a compelling pace, SLAM! The film jumps forward 20 years and the girls are grown-ups. And at these points, the movie groans along like a garbage disposal with too many potato peels crammed in it. Remarkably, the dismal acting of these veteran actresses isn't as bad as the lack-luster script during these "flash-fronts". Were there separate writers for this film? I usually adore Rosie O'Donnell, but casting her as the grown Roberta was a horrible choice. Demi Moore's character is now self-absorbed and self-pitying, and Melanie Griffin (super-famous actress) and Rita Wilson (pregnant homemaker) are insipid caricatures. None of these women are one-quarter as interesting or delightful as they were when they were adolescents, particularly Roberta (Ricci/O'Donnell). The film's flipping back and forth between the decades becomes quickly annoying. Suggestion: Rent the video, and fast-forward through the adult stuff. Fast-forwarding the tape won't rob anyone of the film's message (something like "friendship is forever," or "don't go into cemeteries at night"), and it'll save you about 30 minutes of fidgeting, waiting for the film to turn back to the four girls. At least they have fun. And the treehouse they save up to buy is every girl's idea of truly cool!
Now and Then
Now and Then
Four 12-year-old girls grow up together during an eventful small-town summer in 1970.
November 12, 2020