One of my childhood favourites Now and Then follows the story of four girls who made a pact years ago to be there for each other for the important stuff no matter what. The story opens with Chrissy (Rita Wilson) heavily pregnant with her first child and due to go into labour any day. If you think that is scary enough, check out her pregnancy look. Yowsers, the floral dress and hair, oh my.
True to their pact the gang rally together for this milestone event. It’s unclear just how much they’ve communicated since they were last together but it’s clear that there is some tension in the reunion. The narrative then takes a step back to the summer that really bought the foursome together. And that is where the movie really begins.
The “Now” part of this movie didn’t really draw me in that much, no matter how important it was to the story. The chemistry of the actors was pretty standard. Visually, the casting was fairly accurate. I could easily believe they were the adult versions of Chrissy, Roberta, Samantha and Teeny. But I didn’t care that they had grown up and moved on with their lives, built careers, fallen in love, moved away etc, etc, etc. At least not so early on in the story.
I connected more with the childhood versions of the characters. The way they were so different to each other yet clicked as a group. While the idea of contrasting group dynamics is certainly not a new one, I was still able to go along with the story and not get tripped up by the stereotypical personalities: the dominant, bossy one who seems a little regimented with rules (Chrissy), the comic who avoids emotions (Roberta), the quiet one with inner strength who wants to shield others (Samantha) and the drama queen who has dreams of grandeur and getting far away from their home town (Teeny).
If you have never been lucky enough to grow up with a close knit group of friends or moved around a lot throughout your childhood years, Now and Then might make you friendship jealous… or wistful/nostalgic for the type of childhood where you could ride your bikes and swim at the swimming hole without any adult supervision or concern.