Very Special Movie: Now and Then

I have wanted to post about the most EPIC movie for girl children for a while now, but frankly I couldn’t take the emotions. This movie makes me long for middle school and also 1970. I never experienced 1970, but this movie encouraged me to cuff the ends of my Bermuda shorts and try orange Nehi soda for the first time. (I had previously been exclusively a Stewart’s Grape Soda girl.) I AM HONESTLY JUST TOO EXCITED TO WRITE THIS POST AND I HAVEN’T EVEN PRESSED PLAY ON THE MOVIE YET OMG.

You know what, I don’t even have to watch the movie to do this. And I’m sorry to pull out the old list post gag but I can’t help it. I want to run around screaming Badfinger’s “No Matter What” or even better yet Tony Orlando & Dawn’s “Knock Three Times” at the top of my lungs. And whilst “quiet hours” don’t begin until 10 pm in my apartment building (yeah there are some things I miss about New York) I do not believe that my new neighbors will appreciate this impromptu sing-a-long. Or maybe they will. Maybe I should try this and find out if they are the best people ever or not.

7 Entirely Personal Reasons that I Freaking LOVE this movie (and maybe if you agree with these reasons then they are not entirely personal and you can totally be my BFF and we’ll trade friendship beads but OMG do NOT go down into the storm drain to retrieve them. Or maybe do because then we can become BFF’s with a misunderstood old man.)

  1. This movie perfectly captures that feeling of total protection and security and absolute freedom that you somehow trick yourself into thinking you have as a twelve year-old. I get that it was a “safer” time and parents let their kids roam around a little bit more. But the kids in this movie are also never totally without a friendly adult. Like you could always go to your Grandma Cloris Leachmen in the even of an emergency even though you totally think that you are perfectly capable of solving a paranormal mystery on your own. I liken this to how I felt that I owned the mall in middle school and could totally get my haircut at Fantastic Sam’s without informing any adult because *what were they gonna do about it* even though my friend’s dad was always sitting dutifully at the food court in the event of an attempted kidnapping or knife fight.
  2. I wanted to be cool like Roberta, had no boobs for (what felt like) forever like Teeny, had parents with a rocky marriage like Samantha, and (though I would never want to admit it) was naive like Chrissy. I mean, not “planting the seed and watering the flower” naïve, but I mean I pretty much like wanted to follow the rules and wear pigtails for as long as possible. But the best of this movie is that no matter which girl-archetype(s) you were, you could pretty much trust that you would find your way in life. All of these girls are awesome and they made every little girl who could identify with their characteristics feel awesome too.
  3. I had the worst-best-friend ever in elementary school. Looking back on it she actually wasn’t my friend at all and was probably at best my frenemy until she turned out to be a straight up bully and excommunicated me from our group. 2406.original-4196However, before I became an eleven year-old social outcast, I hosted two epic weekend adventures of bike-riding and assigning everyone characters. I had the opportunity to be both Roberta (my original favorite upon my first viewing) and Teeny (I wanted the excuse to stuff my shirt with paper towels because I didn’t have any balloons or pudding. Or a bra for that matter). I saw on Facebook a couple of years ago that one of these girls (a rather nice one who managed to still kind of hang out with me for a whole year post-excommunication) hosted a similar weekend Now & Then bike-riding event, so I’m proud that my legacy lives on. I know I’m not the only 90’s girl who thought of this idea, but I was the original to do so in that specific friend group and it feels like some kind of weird justice of awesomeness.
  4. Is it weird to ‘ship a couple of child stars from 20 years ago…or like is there an exemption if you’ve been ‘shipping them for that entire 20 year period? OMG YOU GUYS THIS MOVIE IS 20 YEARS OLD. I’m not okay with that, wow. Anyway, I’m pretty much convinced that Devon Sawa and Christina Ricci are basically soulmates. The kiss and Casper+ the kiss in Now & Then pretty much set the bar for all of my kissing expectations in life. And yes, I know that’s an incredibly 90’s baseline. I’m a product of pop culture. Clearly.
  5. This soundtrack! (If anyone would like to have a side conversation about how “I Want You Back”has the best baseline ever. Or is in my opinion THE best song ever, then please feel free to reach out in the comments section.)
  6. Friendship breakups are the worst thing ever in the history of the world. I would so much rather date a guy and have him completely step all over my heart than to have a friend breakup ever again. I say this with completely confidence because (having undergone both situations) the friends are the ones I miss a decade later. I have a very “Goonies Never Say Die” attitude in this regard and you pretty much have to become a total asshole or nutcase for me to want to stop being your friend. The adult part of Now & Then is all about how these women haven’t talked to each other (for the most part) in years. And yet Rita Wilson finds herself impregnated and all of these women just “news team assemble” to help her out. If I could resolve all friendship breakups in this manner, you better believe I would in a heartbeat. Well, except the pregnant part. Even friendships aren’t that important. 
  7. ADVENTURES! Don’t you guys just wish we could ride our bikes around all day and solve that eerie cold case that shook our small Indiana town to it’s Heart of America core? And in the meantime we could talk to a drifter with some spare cigs, come to terms with our family traumas, engage in a feud with the boys down the street, start a brawl on the baseball field in the name of women’s rights, and have Janeane Garofalo tell us our fortunes when she isn’t busy serving us Coca-Cola.
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10 thoughts on “Very Special Movie: Now and Then

  1. Truly a movie that shows the importance of true and good friends that have your back even if years has passed with little or no contact.

    The world needs a forum of folks talking, sharing traumas and joys and being present in our ever present individual journeys. To be invisible in this world is a wounding beyond words.

    On a lighter note, I particular like the padding of the shirt that Teeny does. I was without form in high school – 100 pounds stretches on a five foot four and a half inch frame – alas no boobs lifting my sweater. Shy by nature, I still am not sure what possessed me or prompted me to stuff my too big 32AA bra. A desire maybe to be what I thought or America thought was a woman. It all started because of a boy or I should say a boy/man in my French class. I was a sophomore and he was a senior. Seats were assigned in my class. I sat behind him – a halfback on our football team. When he turned around to pass papers back to me he placed a muscled hairy man arm on my desk. Yes, I had a hopeless crush on him but would blush every time he spoke and curve my shoulders forward to hide my flat chest. He was kind and funny so eventually I did look in the deepest brown eyes ever. Man! Incredible to this day when I think of it. One morning I stuffed a little toliet paper in my bra and grew bolder with each passing day. Until one day that is – he turned to pass out French Quiz back to me and probably startled at my growth blurted out (thankfully in a low tone that I only heard) “Wow! You are really growing!”
    Words are not adequate to express the embarrassment I felt! Needless to say my flat days were back promptly. And you know what it didn’t change his kind attention to me! And he never spoke again of my fluctuating boob size!

    Thanks Very Special Blog for triggering a Very Special Memory and for sharing the Very Special Leason of a true friendship!

  2. Omg, I had totally forgotten about this movie! In fact, I didn’t really remember what this movie was until you mentioned the shirt stuffing part. Totally have to go find it somewhere and watch it again.

  3. I starting wondering what happened to the VSB and it turns out that due to my technological ineptitude, I managed to unfollow you. At least I had the fun of catching up on the backlog posts today. I’ve never seen this movie but you totally have me convinced so I ended up ordering it on Amazon.

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