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“Now and Then” is a coming-of-age classic about adolescence and young female friendships. The adult versions of four teenage girls reminisce about the old days, but specifically the movie zeroes in on the summer of 1970.
It features some serious star power with Rosie O’Donnell, Demi Moore, Melanie Griffith and Rita Wilson playing the women and Christina Ricci, Gaby Hoffmann, Thora Birch and Ashleigh Aston Moore as the girls.
What a cast! But those names and faces weren’t enough to please reviewers.
When “Now and Then” debuted in theaters in 1995, it opened to bad reviews. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer gives the film just a 28% rating — but the Audience Score is much higher, at 83%. Generally, moviegoers liked the movie, and it built a cult following.
The budget for the “Now and Then” film was $12 million, but it grossed $37.5 million.
One of the things boosting its popularity was the soundtrack that folks could buy on CDs back then. It featured “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder and “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies, to name a few.
You can buy the audio CD on Amazon for less than $7. Just look at those fonts … aw!
We miss the ’90s.
Thankfully we can travel back to that decade and the 1970s with this movie, a cultural phenomenon perfect for watching in the summertime. Sure, it involves the girls attempting to solve a murder but also focuses on their changing lives and bodies, pranks on boys and general girlfriend fun.
Sadly, one of the movie’s stars is no longer with us. Moore, who played the younger version of Rita Wilson’s character Chrissy, died unexpectedly in 2007 at the age of 26.
“Ashleigh [Aston-Moore] was a really cool kid,” Birch told ABC News in 2015. “She had a great personality and I remember making fun of ‘Chrissy’s’ lines with her from time to time because neither of us could believe that Chrissy was so clueless. I had not heard about her passing until a couple years ago, and was saddened by the news. She still lives on as Chrissy to me, though.”
Birch also talked about her own experience as a 12 year old playing Teeny, the younger version of Melanie Griffith.
“I did [enjoy playing Teeny],” Birch said. “She was so full of energy, and had a wonderful imagination and was really into glamour. I was just getting out of my tomboy phase, so playing Teeny put me in touch with my budding teenager at the time.”
Birch said that the atmosphere on set was like a “24-hour sleepover,” and the only drawback was not being on set at the same time as the adult stars of the film.
Want more from “Now and Then” screenplay writer I. Marlene King and director Lesli Linda Glatter, pictured below? Check out “Pretty Little Liars.” King developed the American teen drama mystery series for television and Glatter directed the show’s pilot episode (and two other episodes between 2010-2012).
“Pretty Little Liars” follows a clique of four teenage girls whose lives fall apart when their leader disappears. The seven-season series is streaming on Netflix. It’s available for purchase on other services such as iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime.
Check out this “Pretty Little Liars” Instagram post from this past spring, featuring the cast on its first day of filming:
If you plan to watch “Now and Then,” just remember that one of the things it has in common with “Pretty Little Liars” is that it has a dark side. The film deals with issues such as body image, sexuality and developing maturity in friendships.
We’re glad Netflix is putting this movie back in our lives. We loved it then, and we love it now!