Tuck Everlasting

"Good"

Tuck Everlasting Review


Disney has always been hit-or-miss when bringing beloved kids' books to the screen, and the studio's latest -- an adaptation of Natalie Babbit's "Tuck Everlasting" -- is a little of both.

It's an early 20th Century story of a curious, affluent teenage girl, stifled by her stiff-upper-lip period parents, who gets lost while seeking an afternoon of freedom in the deep woods behind her estate and meets an enticing young man with a mystical secret -- drinking from a nearby spring has made him and his whole family immortal.

Afraid of being discovered by the outside world that would covet what they've come to consider a curse, the Tuck clan feels they cannot let the young lady go home, even as the area is scoured by search parties. But before long Winnie (Alexis Bledel) isn't exactly aching to leave, having come to know both freedom and romance with the handsome, worldly Jesse (Jonathan Jackson).

Directed by Jay Russell, who deftly navigated the trappings of a 1950s coming-of-age story in "My Dog Skip," this film is a similarly warm, spirited and fairly entertaining family fare. But while its charms are many and it may strike a chord with fans of the book, "Tuck" doesn't have the makings of an "everlasting" classic, mostly because it has more trappings of the era in which it was made than of the era it depicts.

The beautiful Bledel, who is wonderfully natural and winsome as astutely droll teenager Rory Gilmore on TV's "The Gilmore Girls," makes an appealing heroine and she has the porcelain beauty of an aristocratic girl in pre-World War I America -- but not the carriage, cadence or demeanor. Jackson's not a bad actor either, but he's such an unthreatening, boy-band pretty, teenage heartthrob cliché that he'd look a lot more at home on the bedroom wall of a 21st Century teenager than he does in 1914. There's a genuine but far too modern sensuality to the flirtation between these two as well.

Even more incongruous for a period piece is the nausea-inducing hand-held cinematography used for an immortality- isn't- all- it's- cracked- up- to- be flashback of the tribulations the Tucks' have endured (loved ones lost, witchcraft accusations, etc.). The film is also overloaded with florid narration that renders most of Winnie's emotions explained rather than experienced.

But while "Tuck" fails to prove unforgettable, as Disney clearly intended, that doesn't mean these problems ruin the movie. Despite her somewhat ill fit for the period, Bledel lends Winnie an inviting, adventurous vitality that's hard to resist. Feeling drawn to Jesse and emancipated from her looming departure for finishing school, it's easy to shrug off questions about why she'd stay with the Tucks even though she knows her family is searching the woods for her.

What's harder to understand is why, when the townspeople start closing in, the Tuck parents (William Hurt and Sissy Spacek) don't send her packing to protect the themselves and the spring. By this time they know she'd keep their secret.

But then there wouldn't be much of a story, would there? And there would be no introduction for the Man in the Yellow Suit, an unscrupulous tracker who has been hunting for the Tucks and their spring for years, hoping to turn a profit by selling eternal youth. Played by Ben Kingsley as a country gentleman exuding serpent-like menace, he has followed Jesse and his sourpuss brother Miles (Scott Bairstow) from their recent trip to Europe, and arrived in town just in time to exploit Winnie's disappearance for his own ends.

"Tuck Everlasting" gets by on the enchantment factor and good chemistry between Bledel and Jackson as their characters fall in love, knowing Winnie will eventually have to make a choice about what her future will hold -- and how long her future will be.

Just don't go into this picture expecting the all-ages masterpiece the studio has been touting in trailers and TV commercials, because you won't find it here.



Tuck Everlasting

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th October 2002

Box Office USA: $19.0M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 71 Rotten: 46

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Winnie Foster, as Angus Tuck, as Mae Tuck, as Jesse Tuck, as Miles Tuck, as Man in the Yellow Suit, as Mother Foster, as Robert Foster

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.