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Now and Then (1995)

aka Now and Then

"In every woman there is the girl she left behind."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 100 mins · English · PG-13 (USA)

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Cast:

Small Young Roberta Martin
Small Dr. Roberta Martin
Small Teeny
Small Tina 'Teeny' Tercell
Small Young Samantha Albertson
Small Samantha Albertson
No_movie_poster Chrissy DeWitt Williams
Small Chrissy DeWitt Williams
No_movie_poster Crazy Pete
Small Scott Wormer
Small Grandma Albertson
Small Wiladene
Small Bud Kent
Small Mrs. DeWitt, Chrissy's Mom
Small Mrs. Albertson, Samatha's Mom
Small Angela Albertson
Small Vietnam Veteran

Crew:

No_movie_poster Jennifer Todd Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Suzanne Todd Producer
No_movie_poster Cliff Eidelman Original Music Composer
Small Demi Moore Producer
No_movie_poster Ueli Steiger Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Lesli Linka Glatter Director
No_movie_poster Jacqueline Cambas Editor
No_movie_poster I. Marlene King Screenplay
No_movie_poster Jacqueline Cambas Editing

Taglines:

"In every woman there is the girl she left behind."

"A summer when four friends made a promise to return anytime they needed each other. Twenty years later, that time has come."

Plot:

In 1991 four childhood friends — Samantha Albertson, the "weird" girl who likes performing seances and whose parents are divorcing (fairly uncommon in the early 1970s); Roberta Martin, a tough tomboy whose mother died when she was four; Chrissy DeWitt, a naive girl who is sheltered by her mother; and Tina "Teeny" Tercell, an outgoing girl who dreams of being famous — reunite in their hometown of Shelby, Indiana.

Chrissy is revealed to be living in her childhood home with her nerdy husband, Morton, pregnant with their first child and due to give birth any day. Teeny is now a Hollywood actress who has been married three times. Roberta is now a doctor and is living "in sin" with her boyfriend. Sam is now a science-fiction author and also serves as the narrator of the story. The girls are in Chrissy's backyard, reminiscing about the summer of 1970. Teeny and Samantha have not been back to their hometown in ten years.

The story returns to the early summer of 1970 and the girls have one goal: to obtain the money needed to buy a tree house. While saving money for the tree house and avoiding the Wormers, four brothers who torment them at every chance, they sneak out one night to the local graveyard to perform a seance. To their surprise, they find a tombstone cracked down the middle, leading them to believe they resurrected the spirit of a young boy named "Dear" Johnny.

The local library has no information on him, so the girls head to a town farther away by biking. Chrissy insists that they take a break. The girls rest under a tree, and a bird drops its feces onto Chrissy's head causing them to go to the lake to wash her hair out, which leads to them playing in the lake splashing each other. Roberta jumps from a tree into the lake and floats back up to the surface seemingly drowned, freaking the girls out and trying to decide who should give her mouth-to-mouth. Chrissy hastily says she will but before she can, Roberta spits up water into her face revealing it all to have been a joke, but Chrissy hits her in the face demanding that she "never scare her like that again", and the two chat with Roberta apologizing for what she did and Chrissy stating that Roberta is her best friend. They then see the Wormer boys skinny dipping in the lake not too far away. They make a big deal talking about Scott's penis and the size and talk about erections. They then decide to get back at the Wormers for an earlier prank by taking all of their clothes that are stashed on their bikes by the lake. They get the boys' attention by showing they have their clothes and run off on their bikes making the boys chase them naked as they throw their clothes one by one onto the dirt road as they ride off. They then reach the next town's library. Roberta comes across an article concerning her mother's death, which reveals that she died in a car accident. Samantha then finds some information on Dear Johnny, including that he and his mother died together in a tragic accident. Before they find out more, they see that the rest of the article was torn out of the book, indicating that someone wants to keep his death a mystery.

On the way home, they encounter a returning soldier from the Vietnam War, who they sit and talk to, and also gives them a pessimistic view of the war's progress. The next day, they visit Wiladine, a self-proclaimed psychic, to find out more on Dear Johnny. Using tarot cards, she determines that he was murdered.

Afterward they hear about a softball game being played and head to the field. While the other three watch, Roberta steps up to bat, but hits a foul ball, which prompts Jimmy, the local bully, to declare that girls can't play softball. She walks up to him and punches him in the face, knocking him to the ground, and continues beating him. Samantha, Teeny, and Chrissy break up the fight, but Jimmy insults Roberta's mother's death, which causes Samantha to jump at him and beat him. When she gets home, Samantha meets Bud Kent, a man her mother is having over for dinner. She dislikes him immediately and is cold towards him. Bud spills his drink on himself and takes off his jacket, while her mother gives him her father's shirt. She promptly storms out.

Teeny is seen watching Love Story at a drive-in movie from the roof of her house when Samantha shows up. They decide to go to the store and hang out in the display model of the tree house. Roberta is playing basketball alone in her driveway when Scott Wormer suddenly shows up. They play for a minute and then sit on an outdoor bench by her house. They both question why they fight all the time and share a kiss. After a moment of silence, she warns him, "If you mention this to anyone, especially your brothers, I'll beat the shit out of you." At the tree house, Samantha and Teeny are playing Truth or Dare when Samantha suddenly tells her that her parents are divorcing, to her surprise. She talks about her desire to have a normal family, and starts crying. Teeny comforts her, saying that there is no such thing as a normal family. She then bites her favorite necklace in half and gives one half to her, as a "best friends for life" bracelet.

It starts to rain so they leave the store. As they're riding their bikes, Samantha realizes that her bracelet fell off, and they stop to look for it. Teeny sees it in a storm drain, and Samantha reaches for it. Just as she gets her fingers around it, it slips farther into the drain. She climbs down there to retrieve it, and then the water rises and she begins to drown. Teeny attempts to pull her up, but can't reach her. Just as the situation seems hopeless, Crazy Pete, an old vagrant, sees what's going on, and jumps in after her. He successfully pulls her out and the girls thank him and see him in a new light, knowing that she would have perished had he not been there.

The next day, all four girls are painting Roberta's garage. The Wormers pass by, and while most of them ignore them, Scott, in an out of character gesture, politely greets them, while looking specifically at Roberta. As the Wormers are walking away, the girls ridicule Scott, while Roberta says that he's not so bad. Later, they visit Samantha's grandmother, and ask her about Dear Johnny. She refuses to tell them, however, saying that it would be too much for them. Just then, her poker buddies show up to get her. She then rushes the girls to get out of the house, and leaves for her tournament. Instead of leaving, they sneak into the attic from the window and search for any more information regarding Dear Johnny's death. They eventually find a newspaper with the headline "Murders Stun Town", proving that he and his mother were indeed murdered. This revelation shocks all four of them as they realize that even their seemingly safe town can be dangerous. Roberta then flies into a rage, appalled that two innocent people were murdered in cold blood and the realization that her mother died painfully, despite her father's claims. Samantha then finally tells the others that her parents are getting a divorce. They then make a pact to always be there for one another, no matter what.

They then go back to the cemetery to perform another seance to put Dear Johnny's soul to rest. His tombstone then rises in the air with a bright light surrounding it, frightening them. A figure appears in the light before revealing itself to be just a handyman. He explains that he accidentally cracked the tombstone with his tractor and they realize that they fooled themselves into believing that they resurrected Dear Johnny. From then on they decide to quit performing the seances, deeming them a waste of time. As they're leaving, they see Crazy Pete in the cemetery. The others leave while Samantha stays behind and follows him to Dear Johnny's new tombstone. She then comes to the conclusion that he is in fact Peter Simms, his father. She comforts him, while he tells her not to dwell on things in life. The two then go their separate ways. Some time after, the tree house is bought, and Samantha gives a narration: "We all used to try so hard to fit in. We wanted to look exactly alike, do all the same things, practically be the same people. And when we weren't looking, that changed. The tree house was supposed to bring us more independence. But what the summer actually brought was independence from each other."

The film then jumps back to 1991, and Chrissy is in labor. They take Teeny's limo to the hospital, where Roberta delivers the baby, which is a girl. Morton arrives just then to meet his new daughter. Later, the ladies are in their tree house with the baby, playing Truth or Dare. After that and a deep conversation on how happy they are in life, they make another pact to visit more often. They see a group of kids playing Red Rover and join the game. The films ends with one final narration from Samantha: "You can run from the disappointments you're trying to forget but it's only when you embrace your past that you truly move forward. Maybe Thomas Wolfe never got to go home again but I found my way there, and I'm glad I did."

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1995-10-20 : United States of America

DVD : 1999-12-21