Greetings fellow movie goers from around the globe. Today’s “Flashback Review” is a 90’s film described as a spiritual successor to “Stand By Me.” This time it’s about four girls who grew up in The Early 70’s as they navigate everyday life. The story is actually about The Girls trying to solve a mystery. Two Decades Laters, The Girls reunite for one big reason. The premise I’m referring to is none other than “Now And Then.”
Now And Then was released in 1995. (same year Toy Story came out) At the time of its release, critics responded with negative reviews. Although it received negative reception, the film was a modest box office success. Overtime, Now And Then became a cult classic among 90’s Kids/90’s Babies. I recall watching Now And Then when I spent the weekend with one of cousins, Katy. We often pick a specific movie to watch together. To put make things fair, we compete over films we choose by drawing straws, partake in a staring contest & thumb wrestle etc. Unfortunately, I had to make her win, because I don’t wanna give her hopes up on what she wants. Special shout-out to my cousin.
Since 2012, Now And Then was rumored to be adapted as a television series from the actual screenwriter, I. Marlene King, she also adapted “Pretty Little Liars.” Plans were scrapped in favor of headlining remaining seasons of Pretty Little Liars. Another thing, Now And Then is one of my guilty pleasures.
Today’s review doesn’t contain no crucial SPOILERS whatsoever. If you have not seen Now And Then as a 90’s Baby/90’s Kid, feel free to read my non-spoiler article. As a 90’s Baby/Kid, I was born in 1993. Is Now And Then an underrated gem? Well let’s find out shall we?
Good & Bad Qualities
Good: Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Gabby Hoffman (no idea what she’s been up to lately) & Ashleigh Aston Moore (went AWOL since this movie) all did a great job for their respective performances as younger versions of the four main characters.
Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, (Donald Trump’s nemesis) Melanie Griffith & Rita Wilson also did a great job for their respective performances as adult versions of the main characters. In addition to co-starring, Demi also co-produced the film.
Other Cast Members such as Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Bonnie Hunt & Cloris Leachman all did a solid job for their respective performances.
Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars) wrote the screenplay and she did a good job constructing dialogue and scenes.
Chemistry between The Girls served as the main highlight of the film.
Cinematography never suffered from any technical difficulties throughout.
The storyline has a mystery element about a boy who died at the age of 12. The Girls try to uncover the boy’s death.
Now And Then is basically a spiritual successor to “Stand By Me.” The former movie isn’t a knock-off of the latter movie.
The Girls discuss about “assets.” It becomes “hilarious in hindsight” (from TV Tropes) when Christiana & Thora showed us movie goers their “ta-tas” in “Black Snake Moan” & “American Beauty.” Praise The Lord!
A minor character is shown reading an “X-Force” comic.
The film takes place in The Early 70’s & The Early 90’s.
The Soundtrack contains songs from The Late 60’s & The Early 70’s.
The story focuses on The Girls’ everyday lives as close friends. Their activities weren’t boring at all. Thank god the narrative isn’t boring as heck like Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.”
Each girl has a personal backstory which helps relate to a random viewer. If you have a sensitive side, bring a couple of tissues, because some of them are like a chopped bowl of onions which will cause you to weep.
Primary themes for the film are, Friendship, Puberty, Childhood Obesity, Spirituality & Separation. Each theme is handled carefully without feeling exaggerated or cringeworthy.
In The Early 90’s, the grown up versions of The Girls reunite for a specific reason.
There’s a scene with The Girls trying to communicate with spirits of the dead. Christina literally talked to ghosts in “Casper.” The Friendly Ghost’s big screen debut came out the exact same year as Now And Then. This isn’t the first time Demi encountered a “Ghost” having the time of his life. If you know what I’m talking about.
Brendan Fraser makes a cameo appearance. Back when he was in good shape.
Bad: Product Placement featuring brands such as Marlboro, Coors Light, Sears, Coca-Cola & Fanta. I’m giving this flaw a pass, because I couldn’t find no brand to shove down my throat.
To be honest with you fellas, I couldn’t spot no con. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for a making film as flawless as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Now And Then surprisingly still holds up. To this day, I really don’t understand why this movie isn’t as good as the critics say. All the good stuff listed as positive, indicates specific reasons why Now & Then is an underrated masterpiece and also one of my guilt pleasures. If you’re interested in watching this movie by showing this to your kids, I strongly recommend it. The movie is available on Netflix right now. I have no idea how long it’s gonna be available, but watch it immediately before Netflix might remove the film in the future!