Waxing nostalgic about the bittersweet passage from childhood to puberty, four childhood girlfriends recall the magical summer of 1970.
When four childhood best friends reunite in their Indiana town for the birth of one of their first children, they think back to the summer of 1970, when they were just becoming teenagers and could smell the sweet scent of independence. Their summer begins with a mission to raise the final twenty bucks to buy the treehouse of their dreams, but turns into so much more as the girls come face-to-face with a handful of milestones, including first kisses, small town mysteries, and family drama. There’s a killer soundtrack, a Boo Radley, and a scene that – even more so than IT – is the reason I am afraid of storm drains to this day.
Christina Ricci as young Roberta
Still riding that Casper high, Christina Ricci was already leading lady material in 1995. An old pro! This was, what? Four years after she first played Wednesday Addams? As Roberta, she’s the tough girl tomboy, scraping her knees and giving the boys hell all summer long.
Rosie O’Donnell as grown Roberta
As grown up OBGYN Roberta, Rosie O’Donnell is basically playing herself. If I’m remembering correctly, 1995 was like peak Rosie O’Donnell years. She was in everything in the early 90s, and would go on to get her own TV show not long after this.
Thora Birch as young Tina
Like Ricci, Thora Birch was already a star in 1995. She had a long list of credits by then, including Dani in Hocus Pocus, and she would go on to star in American Beauty and Ghost World.
Melanie Griffith as grown Tina
NINETIES QUEEN. Tina “Teeny” Turcell, always obsessed with boys and sex and makeup as a kid, grows up to be a famous actress, and Melanie is, TBH, perfectly cast.
Gaby Hoffmann as young Samantha
Gaby had already played the precocious kid in a handful of family films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Uncle Buck, and Field of Dreams. In Now and Then, she’s the cool, emo/goth kid of the group, convincing her friends to do seances in the graveyard and giving her mom’s new boyfriend a lot of shit.
Demi Moore as grown Samantha
Grown up Samantha is as hipster goth as her younger coutnerpart, if not more. She wears all black, she’s a ~writer~ and she smokes cigarettes. Demi Moore is extremely cool in this movie with her ties and her black tights. She invented the tiny sunglasses trend, in case you hadn’t heard.
Ashleigh Aston Moore as young Chrissy
Chrissy is the naive, clueless member of this crew, played beautiful by Ashleigh Aston Moore, who sadly passed away in 2007.
Rita Wilson as grown Chrissy
Grown up Chrissy still lives in her parents’ house in the same neighborhood the girls grew up in, and since she’s about to give birth to her first child, she is the reason the crew is getting back together. Rita plays her with the perfect mix of charm/annoyingness.
Devon Sawa as Scott Wormer
Nineties pre-teen heartthrob Devon Sawa makes an appearance as the neighborhood terror who makes the girls’ life hell, but only because he’s harboring a mad crush on Roberta. So yes, we get a little mini Casper reunion in this movie!
The list goes on and on, y’all. You get cameos from Janeane Garofala, Bonnie Hunt, Cloris Leachman, Brendan Fraser, Hank Azaria…I’d be here all day if I tried to list them all!
Couch-Sharing Capability: Gather Your Girlfriends
The perfect film to call up your childhood besties, or even your new adult besties, and reminisce about summers of yore, first kisses, bike riding, and graveyard seances.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: “We don’t keep hard liquor in the house.”
Crack open a cold one, it’s summer after all. You don’t need to be drunk for this movie, but a cold beer certainly never made anything worse.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Summertime Nostalgia
Now and Then is basically Stand by Me for girls, with a dream of a 90s star-studded cast. If you didn’t grow up watching this movie, I’m sorry for you, but also now’s your chance. It’s the perfect film to watch when you want to attempt to enjoy all the warm, fuzzy feelings of summer without going outside in the face-melting August heat.