Now and Then

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1

The friendship pact made when Chrissy (Ashleigh Moore), Samantha (Gaby Hoffman), Roberta (Christina Ricci) and Teeny (Thora Birch) are twelve becomes their rallying cry years later. The foursome said they would always be there for one another. That was the summer of 1970 in Shelby, Indiana. Sealing their pact, the four bought a tree house where they could have privacy. Now the adult women, Roberta (Rosie O'Donnell), Chrissy (Rita Wilson), Samantha (Demi Moore), and Teeny (Melanie Griffith) have gathered for a reunion. They reminisce about that fun summer when they held seances in the cemetery in front of Dear Johnny's tombstone and researched his mysterious death; when they watched the Wormers, a boys gang, skinny dipping; and when they played "Truth or Dare." Samantha's observation sums up the film: "You can run from the disappointments that you're trying to forget. But it's only when you embrace your past that you truly move forward." Although it has its enjoyable moments, NOW AND THEN turns out to be a mediocre film that will attract mostly teenage girls.

The typical 12-year-olds' conversations often revolve around sex. They know the words but don't seem to understand their meaning. Their curiosity about such things also prompts them to spy on a group of boys skinny-dipping. However, the camera exposes only rear nudity in that rather prolonged scene. Also, the inquisitive girls can't turn down an offer from a Vietnam vet to join him in smoking. They conduct seances twice in the cemetery, calling on spirits to contact the dead and visit a psychic who consults Tarot cards. The young girls are happy and carefree, on the threshold of facing the uncertainties and responsibilities of adulthood, and this behavior is part of the film's coming-of-age theme. Several obscenities and a few crudities are spoken, but the film is free of sex and any significant violence. It's the explicit sexual conversations and the girls' participating in seances that make NOW AND THEN unsuitable for its targeted audience.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey, Ph.D.
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave, 20th Flr, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild 1, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (7) times - S-word 2, other 5

Profanity: Exclamatory twice

Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (girl almost swept away in storm sewer; faked drowning; mirror smashed in anger; old man frightens girls)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (male rear in skinny dipping scene); Near nudity (girl tries on bra; mother wears revealing clothes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (girls' discuss sex)

Drugs: Cigarette smoking once (young girls)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers

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