>>> Click here for the RMC FAQ'N RULES <<<


Tuck Everlasting DVD
Your April 2009 Random Movie Club Results Are In!

Tagline: If you could choose to live forever, would you?

Preshow Entertainment: Harvey Sid Fisher

Pizza: Georgio's


I enjoyed this movie so much more than I thought I would. It's a new (2002) Disney film that reminded me of old Disney movies. It's not flashy or self-referential or spilling gobs of pop culture on the floor. It just a great story with an important theme; Would you rather live forever with a crummy life or live a normal lifespan to the fullest? I'm glad I'm not a character in this story because that's a question I ask myself all the time and still don't have an answer to. Though I do skew more towards the finite life.

It all begins with a haunting whistle...

As the narrator (Elizabeth Shue) tells us, "time is like a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping," we see the wheel of a horse-drawn carriage driven by Tuck matriarch Mae (Sissy Spacek), as she heads into town. It's the beginning of the 20th century. Motor cars are sharing streets with horses. Electricity is replacing gas lighting. The wheel is indeed turning.

Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel)
Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel, for those of you who did not grow up in GILMORE GIRLS' Stars Hollow), plays Winnie Foster, a 15 year old stuck in her proper way of life, as displayed by her tight corsets and controlling mom (Amy Irving of CARRIED AWAY infamy). Trapped behind the fence of her estate in Uppercrustville, Winnie hangs onto the bars like a guest at Pelican Bay. It couldn't be more clear - Winnie needs to break out.

Jess Tuck (Jonathan Jackson)
And then, one day, she happens upon 17 year old (or so he tells her) Jesse (Jonathan Jackson) drinking from a spring...and so begins the fairy tale (Winnie even talks to a frog at the beginning). Sheltered yet feisty, Winnie's a lot like Dorothy Gale from Kansas. And Jesse, as you know, has a secret; a secret Ponce De Leon would likely envy.

So Winnie finally gets her wish to break out of her own backyard (well, technically, the sacrosanct spring is IN her own backyard), but Jesse and his brother Miles (Scott Bairstow), fearing she will spill the secret, abduct her and bring her to their family (William Hurt plays the dad, Angus Tuck) and their house in the woods. But a funny thing happens when she's no longer in the Foster home (ahem); she is called "Winnie" by Mae rather than the stern "Winifred!" her mom would bark. Mae helps her out of that corset and now Winnie is enjoying life, perhaps for the first time. But with the town looking for her, sooner or later Winnie is going to have to go home. She can't stay with the Tucks forever because, for the Tucks, forever is truly forever.

Man in a Yellow Suit (Sir Ben Kingsley)
Complicating matters is the Man in a Yellow Suit (Krishna Pandit Bhanji, A/K/A Sir Ben Kingsley), a mysterious man who is tracking the Tucks for their secret.

And if that's not enough, Winnie and Jesse are falling in love, though I suspect it'll never work. After all, she's 15 and he's 104.

So how will this all play out? And is immortality a blessing or a curse? Will Winnie choose eternal life to be with Jesse or live her full life without him?

Characters dying is a tough theme for a "young" movie, but not the first time Disney has danced with it (BAMBI, OLD YELLER, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3...okay that last one is wishful thinking). Some of that credit goes to director Jay Russell, who delicately balances these oft-burdensome themes with heart and soul...and a talented cast of seasoned actors and newbies. Me being a sucker for coming-of-age stories doesn't hurt either. After all, TUCK EVERLASTING is really the story of a young woman growing up, played against a mildly supernatural backdrop.

All that aside, I'm going to guess that novelist Natalie Babbitt was responsible for much of what we see. It's just a wonderful story and, excuse the pun, timeless. Sure, maybe the movie isn't a classic, but it sure feels like the story is. The book was published in 1975 (although it somehow ironically emits the feeling that it's been around forever), and was first filmed as a non-memorable TV movie back in 1981. This new version was adapted by screenwriters Jeffrey Lieber and Jim Hart...and it's a far cry from Hart's first movie,

TUCK EVERLASTING features many actors I admire, like Sissy Spacek, whom we saw recently in BADLANDS and I can never see too much of. Then there's William Hurt (who is apparently the go-to actor to play men living in the woods during a time period that's not his, as he'd do again two years later in M. Night Shyamalan's THE VILLAGE). This was Alexis Bledel-Nathanson's first movie, shot during a hiatus on GILMORE GIRLS (one of my all-time favorite shows). On her DVD commentary she says she was nervous a lot, this being her first film. But it sure doesn't show. I think a lot of it has to do with her lack of experience, foregoing acting classes and jumping into the water (which her character does in the movie, as if to bring my genius metaphor home). She's so understated...right where she should be. It's refreshing.

I can't say TUCK EVERLASTING is for everyone. It's sometimes sappy and corny, like when Winnie is scared of drowning as Jesse holds her in the water: "Don't let me go!" Jesse: "I'll never let you go, Winnie Foster." See? Corny. And its logline, spoken by Angus Tuck and later repeated by the narrator, is also a bit on the nose: "Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life." But man, sometimes I guess I'm corny and on the nose. Sometimes it just works for me. Sometimes corny is just perfect.

I was working on a show about Astrology last year when someone put a VHS tape on my desk: Astrology songs - Harvey Sid Fisher.

This tape has changed my life. Words can't describe the pure joy I get whenever I watch it. Therefore, because I want to share my joy with the world, I chose that tape, which I had promptly burned onto DVD, for this month's preshow.

I...I...I can't go on. I'll never do it justice. You're just going to have to watch it for yourself. Fortunately, I've stumbled onto this rare site called YouTube and typed in Harvey Sid Fisher. And now you should do the same. Pick any sign of the zodiac you like. You'll only get a taste, but a taste is all you need. If you can't decide where to start, try Libra. Then thank me.

If you're too lazy to do it yourself, just click here: http://tinyurl.com/mcu4sj

Feed Burner Subscribe in a reader

Powered byFeedBlitz

About ...

RMC email address
Old RMC Men

RMC is not affiliated with Rochester Midland Corporation, makers of fine restroom disinfecting fluids and urinal mats since 1888.


Powered by Pizza, Red Vines,
& 6 Different Kinds of Soda



This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Random Movie Club. Make your own badge here.

((( Contribute to our Popcorn Fund! )))

Best Viewed With Firefox 2

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Technorati Favorites!

eXTReMe Tracker