Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter (1)
Cast: Demi Moore (2), Rosie O’Donnell (3), Rita Wilson (4), Melanie Griffith (5), Bonnie Hunt (6), Janeane Garofalo (7), Hank Azaria (8), Christina Ricci (9), Thora Birch (10), Ashleigh Aston Moore, Gaby Hoffmann (11), Devon Sawa (12), Brendan Fraser (13)
My favourite quote – “Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop. But that’s no reason to shut out the world. There’s a purpose for the good and for the bad.”
I really like Now And Then, it reminds me of my younger day. Well, they are films that I first watched when I was just a child. If you liked My Girl and The Baby-Sitters Club, both films from the 90s, you’ll enjoy Now And Then as well.
Growing Up Days
Shelby, Indiana was not the most exciting place to grow up. In fact, the most common cause of death before puberty, was boredom. And in the days before MTV and Nintendo, we had to find ways to entertain ourselves.
– Adult Samantha
Do you remember your childhood days? It’s the first day of the new year and with so much time on my hands, I find myself thinking about how I got to now. My jiemeis and I haven’t counted down to the new year together in quite a while. And although we no longer have much stamina and struggled to stay away, it was still fun, to get together, drink some wine, catch up, and reminisce a bit.
Now And Then is a film about 4 friends who grew up and grew apart. But most of the film is set in 1970 when the summer that changed everything for them. I am a 80s kid. So I could appreciate the nostalgia of the film.
I remember days when having a Nintendo made you cool and hip. I also remember the days when email didn’t exist, mobile phones were yet to be created and when we wanted to communicate with one another while on the move, we sent numeric codes like ‘1314’ (一生一世) and ‘521’ (我爱你) to our pagers.
Boy do I feel old. But now, when I look around, more kids are playing with their iPads and smart phones instead of playing outdoors. I myself rely too much on my electronics.
So it makes me a little sad. That growing up now is so different from growing up in the past.
The Good And The Bad
Young Samantha: Pete? You’re Peter Simms.
Crazy Pete: They were my family.
Young Samantha: It’s a terrible thing that happened to them. I’m sorry.
Crazy Pete: For the longest time I thought I could have stopped him. If I would have been home, instead of down at that bar.
Young Samantha: But you were there for me.
Crazy Pete: I’ve wasted a lot of years, afraid to face people, but mostly afraid to face myself.
Young Samantha: I’m scared too.
Crazy Pete: What’s your name?
Young Samantha: Samantha.
Crazy Pete: Well, Samantha, things will happen in your life that you can’t stop. But that’s no reason to shut out the world. There’s a purpose for the good and for the bad.
Adult Samantha: He gave me the only gift he could. The lesson it had taken him a lifetime to learn. And although I understood the importance of his words, it’s only now looking back that I’ve understand their meaning.
One of the reasons why I really enjoyed this film is because of this scene. Yes, its cliché but I do think that “there’s a purpose for the good and for the bad”. And while I may not understand it now, I believe that one day I will figure out the purpose of the good and the bad things that happened earlier in my life. I’ve subscribed to this way of thinking for quite a while now.
So if 2015 was a bad year for you. Put it aside for now and in the future, you might one day figure out why the way things happened the way they did.
Happiness And Forever Friends
Adult Samantha: Chrissy, truth or dare?
Adult Chrissy: Truth.
Adult Samantha: Are you happy?
Adult Chrissy: Yes. I’m so happy I feel I could just bust and shoot happiness out all over every where.
Adult Teeny: Roberta, truth or dare?
Adult Roberta: Truth.
Adult Teeny: Just how big are your boobs now?
Adult Roberta: Well just how big are your boobs?
Adult Teeny: 36D and worth every penny.
Adult Roberta: D, who knew.
Adult Teeny: Sam, truth or dare?Adult Samantha: Truth.
Adult Teeny: Are you happy?
Adult Samantha: Not really. But I just figured that its normal for things to be shitty. Look, I got an A+ on career day I must have just missed that class on personal relationships.
Adult Chrissy: Maybe you should integrate colour into your wardrobe. Men like pastels on a woman.
Adult Samantha: It’s not about pastels or men. It’s about me.
Adult Teeny: What are you talking about Sam?
Adult Samantha: I’ve had how many relationships in how many years and I’ve run from everyone of them. Which doesn’t make it easy to get to that next level.
Adult Teeny: The intimacy level.
Adult Samantha: Well if you don’t fall in love you can’t get hurt.
Adult Roberta: But it sure is lonely all by yourself.
Adult Samantha: Yeah, it is. Hey you guys remember that summer with Crazy Pete?
Adult Teeny: Oh God, we loved the mystery didn’t we?
Adult Roberta: Did we have fun that summer or what?
Adult Samantha: Yeah it was the best.
Adult Teeny: You know I used to send Crazy Pete a Christmas card every year with some cash. But it came back last year.
Adult Roberta: Yeah he died.
Adult Teeny: Oh…
Adult Samantha: You know I never told you guys this but Pete was Dear Johnny’s father.
Adult Roberta: What?
Adult Teeny: He was?
Adult Chrissy: How did you know that?
Adult Samantha: Well do you remember our last seance in the cemetery? I went back and Pete was there putting flowers on Johnny’s grave. He said something that didn’t mean as much then as it does now. He told me that things happen in life that you can’t stop, but it wasn’t a reason to shut out the world. Wow. I realised that I’ve been so afraid of the bad things that I’ve missed out on the good. You know I didn’t want to come back here. But I’m really glad I did. I’d forgotten how much it helped to have you guys as friends. We’re really lucky to have this place and each other. Boy, and there is a part of me that would like to just stay here forever.
Adult Teeny: I wouldn’t go that far, but it would be nice to come back and visit more often.
Adult Roberta: I agree.
Adult Chrissy: Let’s make a pact. All for one…
All: … and one for all.
Are you happy?
The adults sit around, reminisce and play truth or dare in their treehouse. And the repetitive question is ‘Are you happy?’. What a simple yet tough question to answer. I think I’m happy, but I’m not happy about everything that’s happening in my life right now. But I think that once I figure out what to do next, I’ll be happier.
That will be my goal for the year – to make sure I’m happy. It’s a tall order, but a good goal to strive towards. Don’t you think?
One of the things that make me happy is catching up with my friends and hanging out with them. And I adore the friendship these four women in the film have. I’m so glad to have friends who stand by me during tough times.
In The Baby-Sitter’s Club, another 90s film I like, the lead actress looks back at her summer and narrates this, “Mom says if you can count the number of friends on one hand, that’s a lot. Well I’ve got five fingers and more than five friends. Mom says I’m way ahead. I think she’s right.”
Well, I’ve got ten fingers and more than 10 good friends. I think I’m way, way ahead.
Past, Present, And Future
You can run from the disappointments you’re trying to forgot. But it’s only when you embrace your past that you truly move forward.
– Adult Samantha
Some people say that we should stop looking at the past and look to the future instead. While I agree that one shouldn’t remain in the past, I feel that it doesn’t hurt to reflect on the past and accept all that’s happen so that you can “truly move forward” without any excess baggage. After all, your past is what shapes who you are today.
I think the adults cast in Now And Then were perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Demi Moore all flustered when Rita Wilson’s Chrissy was about to give birth. Melanie Griffith captured my heart the moment she stepped out of the limo and the first thing she said was “Hey Bitches”. And Rita Wilson was awesome in the scene when her character was in labour. I was tickled by Janeane Garofalo’s portrayal of the creepy town “witch” but baffled by the insertion of Brendan Fraser’s veteran solider. I laughed so hard when Bonnie Hunt, who I loved in Jumanji, tried to explain the birds and the bees to young Chrissy.
The kids cast in the film had a lot of responsibility. They had to make the audience feel for the adult characters so that when we see them again at the end of the film, we’d understand all that’s happened and can appreciate that final scene in the treehouse.
Of the four young girls, my favourite is Christina Ricci. She has a tough back story to portray and she played it well. I thought Ashleigh Aston Moore did very well as the prim and proper too-innocent and whiny Chrissy. Thora Birch didn’t have much to work with but held her own as teenage Teeny. Although Gaby Hoffmann wasn’t terrible as the young Samantha, I think the other girls did a better job in their respective roles. I even enjoyed watching Devon Sawa in the small role of Scott.
It was a good light-hearted film to catch as the first day of the year comes to an end.
(1) Lesli Linka Glatter has also directed television series like NYPD Blye, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Numb3rs, Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, Heroes, ER, Weeds, The Mentalist, House M.D., Mad Men, The Good Wife, Lie To Me, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, and Homeland.
(2) Demi Moore has acted in films like St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), Ghost (1990), A Few Good Men (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), Striptease (1996), G.I. Jane (1997), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), LOL (2012). She also voiced the character of Esmeralda in the animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).
(3) Rosie O’Donnell has acted in films like Sleepless In Seattle (1993) and The Flintstones (1994). She also acted in television series like The Nanny, Ally McBeal, Will & Grace, Nip/Tuck, and Smash.
(4) Rita Wilson has acted in films like Sleepless In Seattle (1993), That Thing You Do! (1996), Jingle All The Way (1996), Psycho (1998), Runaway Bride (1999), The Story Of Us (1999), Raise Your Voice (2004), My Life In Ruins (2009), Old Dogs (2009), It’s Complicated (2009), The Art Of Getting By (2011), Larry Crowne (2011), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016). She has also acted in television series like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, and Girls.
(5) Melanie Griffith has acted in films like Working Girl (1988), Born Yesterday (1993), and Lolita (1997).
(6) Bonnie Hunt has acted in films like Rain Man (1988), Beethoven (1992), Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), Jumanji (1995), Jerry Maguire (1996), The Green Mile (1999), Return To Me (2000), Cheaper By The Dozen (2003), and Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005). She has also voiced the character of Rosie in A Bug’s Life (1998), Ms Flint in Monsters, Inc. (2001), Sally Carrera in Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011), and Cars 3 (2017), Karen Graves in Monsters University (2013), and Bonnie Hopps in Zootopia (2016).
(7) Janeane Garofalo has acted in films like The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996), The Cable Guy (1996), Larger Than Life (1996), and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997). She aslo voiced the character of Stith in Titan A.E. (2000) and Colette Tatou in Ratatouille (2007).
(8) Hank Azaria has acted in films like Pretty Woman (1990), Heat (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Great Expectations (1998), Godzilla (1998), America’s Sweethearts (2001), Along Came Polly (2004), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009), Year One (2009), Love & Other Drugs (2010), The Smurfs (2011) and The Smurfs 2 (2013), and Lovelace (2013). He has also voiced the character of The Mighty Sven in Happy Feet Two (2011).
(9) Christina Ricci has acted in films like Mermaids (1990), The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Gold Diggers: The Secret Of Bear Mountain (1995), That Darn Cat (1997), The Ice Storm (1997), Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Anything Else (2003), Monster (2003), Penelope (2006), Speed Racer (2008), New York, I Love You (2008), After.Life (2009), Bel Ami (2012), and Mothers Day (2016). She has also guest starred in television series like Ally McBeal, Malcolm In The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy, Saving Grace, and The Good Wife. She also played the role of Margaret Ryan in the television series Pan Am (2011-2012).
(10) Thora Birch has acted in films like Hocus Pocus (1993), Monkey Trouble (1994), Clear And Present Danger (1994), Alaska (1996), American Beauty (1999), Anywhere But Here (1999), and Dungeons & Dragons (2000).
(11) Gaby Hoffmann has acted in films like Field Of Dreams (1989), Uncle Buck (1989), This Is My Life (1992), Sleepless In Seattle (1993), The Man Without A Face (1993), Volcano (1997), Veronica Mars (2014), and Wild (2014).
(12) Devon Sawa has acted in films like Little Giants (1994), Casper (1995), and Final Destination (2000). He played the role of Owen Elliot and Sam Matthews in Nikita and also guest starred in television series NCIS: Los Angeles.
(13) Brendan Fraser has acted in films like With Honors (1994), Airheads (1994), George Of The Jungle (1997), Blast From The Past (1999), The Mummy (1999), Bedazzled (2000), The Mummy Returns (2001), The Quiet American (2002), Crash (2004), Journey To The Center Of the Earth (2008), The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (2008), Inkheart (2009), and G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009).
Now And Then is a feel-good movie that was quite well done. All in all, I enjoyed it and would watch it over and over again. After a decent amount of time has passed of course. I especially loved the good old classic tunes used in the soundtrack of the film. If you’re born in the 70s or 80s and need a little nostalgia, this is a good film to pick up at the DVD rental shops. (3.5 of 5)
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