We’re doing something a little different this summer for #WayBackWednesday! I asked the Fangirlish staff to tell me their favorite summer flicks–films they associate with summer, be that a film set in the summer, a film that was released in the summer, or a movie they spent a summer watching. Each writer will tell you why they chose their movie and I’ll be reviewing their film recommendations during June, July, and August. This is our Summer Vacation series! Pour yourself a glass of Kool-Aid, make some ramen, and find out how we spent our summer vacations each #WayBackWednesday.
For the inaugural edition of our Summer Vacation series, I’ll be reviewing staff writer Gillian’s favorite summer flick–Now and Then. Did you catch Now and Then when it premiered back in 1995? Check out the trailer and then read why Now and Then is Gillian’s favorite summer vacation movie.
“Now and Then is a quintessential summer movie for girls who grew up in the 90s even though it takes place in 1970. The film has a stacked cast of young actresses (Gaby Hoffmann, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Ashleigh Aston Moore) and a message about the importance of friendship as they reconnect as adults.
Each of the girls has something to overcome that summer whether it’s divorce, loss of a mother, or exploring one’s sexuality, and it all feels very real. And who wasn’t jealous of Christina Ricci getting to kiss Devon Sawa for a second time?! But what I think I take away most is the freedom of those days we once had as children. Being able to spend all day with our friends in the sunshine and going on adventures. Whenever I hear “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies, I instantly think of this movie’s opening scenes on their bikes and miss those days.”
Now and Then is a movie I really wanted to see as a kid, partially because I liked the premise, but largely because I wanted to pretend that I was Christina Ricci, getting to kiss Devon Sawa for a second time! (The first time is in Casper, another favorite from childhood). Unfortunately, I never got to watch Now and Then back then, but I finally rectified that egregious gap in my 90s preteen girl essential films list a couple of years ago. Gillian already named the child actresses, but this film has a solid cast list of 90s actresses too. Rosie O’Donnell plays Roberta, Demi Moore is Samantha, Rita Wilson is Chrissy, and Melanie Griffith is Teeny. If you’re looking for some classic 90s nostalgia with a fantastic cast, you’ll definitely want to check out Now and Then.
Extremely Relatable Content
Gillian did a great job highlighting the premise and importance of Now and Then, so I won’t rehash what she already said so well. One of the reasons I appreciate Now and Then as an adult is that I found something relatable in each of the girls. Roberta’s tomboyishness. Chrissy’s innocence. Samantha’s interest in the weird and obscure. Teeny’s boy crazy ways. They all give me a glimpse at my past self.
Tales of Growing Up
One of the things I love about Now and Then is that it’s a film that highlights how these young women are coming into their own. That kind of film is not seen often enough. There are tons of films and stories out there that focus on boys becoming young men. That’s not a slight. Many are great stories that I love and find relatable, such as Harry Potter and Dead Poets Society. However, I feel like I don’t see as many that focus on girls becoming young women.
Now and Then takes that bildungsroman premise a step further. The film shows these women in their 30s and how their bonds have strengthened over the years. For each of the ladies in our story, it’s not their hometown or their treehouse that’s their home base. It’s their friendship. I have friends that have grown up with me. These are friends that have been with me since childhood, some as early as preschool. I cherish their friendship much more now than I did then. It’s that kind of friendship that’s the real heart of Now and Then. No matter your gender, if you love movies about friendship, Now and Then is worth adding to your watchlist.
Thank you to Gillian for recommending Now and Then for the first film in our #WayBackWedesday Summer Vacation series! Gillian writes about Shadow & Bone, WEBTOONS, and gives her recommendations for other film and television here at Fangirlish, so if you’re interested in those things, be sure to check out her work.
Now and Then is streaming for free with ads right now on Tubi.