I reminisced today with 1995’s Now and Then. This was one of my favorite movies growing up, I was 7 when it was released. Watching it again today I can still say it’s one of my favorites. It’s interesting how many little details and scenes you remember after so many years.
The movie takes place in Shelby, Indiana in 1970. It’s about four best friends, all twelve years old. They have the summer off of school and get into a lot of little adventures. Then 15ish years later the women all gather together again in their old town because one of the friends is having a baby.
The relationship and friendship of the four girls is what made this movie. The kind of love you have for your best friends is a strong bond and this movie showed that very successfully. There were so many awesome moments in this movie, such as the old-school Cosmopolitan sex quiz the young girls were taking, the game Red Rover that I played growing up, seances in the graveyard, first kisses and beating up boys. But the girls in the movie also had to deal with tough issues, like the Vietnam War, death and divorcing parents.
The cast of this movie was fantastic. Back when I was 7 it was the first exposure I had to Thora Birch and she was/still is a fabulous actress. She plays one of the four young girls. Her portrayal of Teeny, a girly-girl who’s boy-crazy and sensitive, was great. The adult version of Teeny is Melanie Griffith, who finally became the movie star she always wanted to be. Christina Ricci shined in this movie! I had seen her before in the Addams Family before seeing this movie. She plays a tomboy who lost her mother when she was real young. The only thing that bothered me about this movie was that pretty Christina Ricci could morph into Rosie O’Donnell. Now that’s completely improbable, or maybe I just can’t stand Rosie! Demi Moore and Rita Wilson also play adults version of the other girls and did pretty good jobs. Other notable characters were Cloris Leachman as a grandmother and Devon Sawa (Idle Hands and Final Destination) as the neighborhood boy who shares his first kiss with Ricci’s character. Hank Azaria, Bonnie Hunt, Janeane Garofalo and Brendan Fraser also portray quirky characters.
The director Lesli Linka Glatter is still directing and went on to direct episodes of “Freaks and Geeks,” “The West Wing,” “ER” and “Mad Men.” Also the soundtrack in this movie makes you want to get up and dance. It includes music from the Jackson 5, Tony Orlando, Diana Ross and the Monkees.
For fun, see if you can recognize Bruce Willis’ daughter Rumer in the movie.