Now and Then

Samantha, Roberta, Teeny, and Chrissy. My homegirls.

Sex and the City, for some, provided a character archetype to latch onto (“I’m totally Carrie, guys!”). And if you didn’t pick a character? Don’t worry, your friends could (and would) quickly assign one to you (“You’re such a Miranda!”). But this behavior starts early. For me and my friends, it started with Now and Then.

This movie came out in 1995, and quickly became that one movie everyone knew, had seen, and had (not-so) secretly loved. It was a sleeper, so to speak. And this movie held its ground: it became that movie that girls (at least, me and my friends) could always agree on watching.

It focused around four girls in suburbia in 1970, and tells the story of that summer that kind of, well, grows them up.  The movie starts with the grown-up girls, with careers and husbands and babies (on the way), meeting back in their hometown and reminiscing about that summer. There’s Samantha, who is the narrator. She is the first of her friends to experience her parents splitting up, and is really into calling people back from the dead, death in general and spirits. (She becomes a best-selling sci-fi author.) There’s Teeny, who has parents that are too-cool to be involved in their daughter’s life, so she spends her days pretending to be a movie star and learning a lot about boys. (She grows up to be a movie star.) There’s Roberta, whose mother dies early in her life and who is a tomboy. She tapes her boobs, because, well, she doesn’t want to be grown-up. (She grows up to be a doctor.) And then there’s Chrissy, who is overprotected and a bit overweight. (She’s married and having a baby, which is why the group gets back together.)

There’s a lot that goes on in this movie, but basically they’re trying to solve what happened in a murder that is the only real, weird thing that’s happened in their town that they know about. A mom and a son were killed, and so they become mini-detectives: looking up old newspapers, talking to grandparents, and even getting a tarot card reading and performing a seance.

I laughed, I cried. Devon Sawa is in this movie, and Roberta (Christina Ricci) gets to kiss him. How unfair is it that she got to kiss him twice?! (She kisses him in the movie Casper, as well.) Honestly, I would have given up pretty much anything to even sit by him. (Roberta also tells him that if he tells anyone they kissed, she’ll kill him. Um, I’d be shouting that shit from the rooftops, Roberta.)

Anyway, watch this movie for a bit of nostalgia-induced, aw shucks, good ol’ days talk.

Oh, and if you were wondering? I was a Samantha. Duh.

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