This is a pretty good drama about several people dealing with difficult problems. At the center of the story is Williard Young (Elijah Wood), a lonely little boy who is sent to his mother's friend's house for summer vacation in a quiet, small town. There has been a quiet, untouched bubble of emotional problems among the residences of the town who are the main characters of the story. And Williard's visit seems to make the bubble burst and each is forced to finally confront the problems they had been hiding for so long. Primarily, that is between the Reeds, the people who Williard is staying with. Lily Reed (Melanie Griffith) is the quiet, fragile type, damaged by the death of their infant son some time ago, creating a pain in her heart that she had never been quite able to get rid of. And it seems as though, it is not something she wants to let go or to stop blaming herself for. This decision, unfortunately, keeps her apart from her husband, Ben Reed (Griffith's then-husband, Don Johnson [hubba hubba]) who can't seem to get close to his wife, and has become bitter in his many unsuccessful attempts. Williard's presence, however brings them together, since both Lily and Ben, enjoy his company once they warm up to him, of course. He is like the surrogate son type. Though their relationship with Williard is often shared separately, Williard tries what he can to bring the two together once and for all, because he knows that they still love each other. They just don't know how to get over the past and get their lives back together again. It takes an awful lot of coaxing and some teary moments, of course. Melanie Griffith pulls out all the stops for this role, as does Don Johnson. And it works quite wonderfully because you can really see how much their son's death really effected them, especially Lily. The summer vacation with the Reeds is a sort of therapy for Williard, too. In part, his next door neighbor Billie Pike (Thora Birch) is one of the few friends he has aside from the Reeds and his time with her is a good lesson in the pangs of childhood like dealing with self-esteem, and learning the truth about his legendary father. It is an all around good drama. The story has a lot going on, and all of the actors, especially Wood and Griffith push things along quite nicely. You never get into too much rambling dialogue, and a story with children often entertains with little subplots of mischief while providing the comic relief to this teary (but not overly sentimental) movie.
Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love ...
February 1, 2020