Castle Rock Entertainment

Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca DeMornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Penelope Ann Miller, Aidan Quinn, Kevin Weisman

Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe) was in second grade when they moved into the neighborhood. Immediately he was discovered by Juli Baker(Madeline Carroll) who lives across the street. Juli is blown away by his blue eyes and believes he holds her “first kiss”. This sends Bryce off on a 6 year mission to avoid Juli in anyway possible. Teased by the boys (and girls) at school, Juli just pursues him more and more. Suddenly by 8th grade, Bryce starts to see the other side of things and decides she’s really his type after all. But at the same time things go wrong on both sides and it seems the more Bryce tries the more Juli dislikes him. Juli’s Dad has a brother who is severely disabled and needs expensive care which causes the family to suffer. Meanwhile Bryce’s Dad is a bit of a pain and looks down on Juli’s family as trashy. Bryce’s Grandpa meanwhile thinks Juli reminds him of his deceased wife and makes a close friendship with her, all to Bryce’s dismay. The story is told in a first Bryce’s point of view of certain events, then in Juli’s viewpoint of the same events. Things switch back and forth between the two, sometimes very different, views of the same events. This shows how different a new perspective can be.

This is a very sweet story of first love and growing up in the mid 60’s. It’s very nostalgic. It shows the problems that families face, and the difficulties in growing up and fitting in. This is directed by Rob Reiner and does for teenagers what “The Story of Us” did for adults, dissected the relationships and took a look at what made it work and not work. The kids who play Bryce and Juli are really good. They’re just simple kids. The method of telling the story back and forth on both sides is very intriguing. Just when you understand Juli is nuts, you see things from her side and understand Bryce is crazy. In fact, they’re both right. It’s just from a different perspective. There are some really warm and fuzzy moments, and some very uncomfortable moments, just like real life. Juli tells us that her uncle is just a name until she spends and afternoon with her Dad visiting him on his birthday. Then he’s a real person, and you can understand the difference between Juli’s view and Bryce’s blowing it off as a girl with a crazy uncle. I really enjoyed this film, and I felt it was well worth the time I spent watching it. Sometimes it’s really nice to see people acting just like real people. As I understand it, the novel was set in 2000, so I’m not sure why Rob chose to set this film in 1964, but it was a very nice choice. It was fun reminiscing of life in the mid 60’s when things were different. Things are not the same now. This was a peaceful 90 minutes looking at people growing up in a simpler time. Nice film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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