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NOW AND THEN - DVD Movie
This obligatory girls' version of Stand by Me begins with actors Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson, Demi Moore, and Rosie O'Donnell doing a lousy job of playing adult versions of the film's youthful protagonists. The idea is that this quartet of characters is having a reunion, which serves as a preface to the main story about school chums who make a pact to stay close and supportive through thick and thin. The trouble is that Griffith, Moore, Wilson, and O'Donnell look like they've rehearsed their scenes for no more than a few minutes, and after boring us silly there's little reason to get excited about anything else. Still, it's nice to have a supporting cast that includes Janeane Garofalo and Bonnie Hunt, while among the girls are three young actresses who have been burning up the road in recent years: Christina Ricci The Opposite of Sex, Thora Birch A Clear and Present Danger, and Gaby Hoffmann Strike. --Tom Keogh