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Tuck Everlasting

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Tuck Everlasting

Starring: Jonathan Jackson, Alexis Bledel
Director: Jay Russell
Rated: PG
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genres: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Victor Garber, Ben Kingsley, Scott Bairstow

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Who's the target audience for this movie? Based on Natalie Babbitt's 1975 novel, the story revolves around the Tucks, an ill-fated family of four living in a ramshackle cabin in the forest. There's 17 year-old Jesse (Jonathan Jackson), his surly older brother (Scott Bairstow), and their parents: Angus (William Hurt) and Mae (Sissy Spacek). Their existence is discovered by a 15 year-old girl, Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel), who has run away because her parents are preparing to send her to a strict boarding school. Frightened at first by these odd strangers, Winnie soon becomes a member of their "family," although it takes awhile for them to confide their powerful secret: they've inadvertently sipped from the "fountain of youth" and are immortal, impervious to injury or disease. In the meantime, a mysterious Man in the Yellow Suit (Ben Kingsley) is in hot pursuit of the Tucks and strikes a dastardly bargain with Winnie's distraught parents to find her and bring her back. So much for plot. The question posed by the story is a thorny one: if you had the chance, would you want to live forever? That's the choice Winnie ultimately must make.

Insofar as Jeffrey Lieber & James V. Hart's script goes, it's insipid, except for one or two of Ben Kingsley's edgy lines. Director Jay Russell and photographer James L. Carter highlight the sweetly star-crossed lovers amid the sun-drenched, verdant foliage, but the plodding pace makes the movie feel like it's "everlasting." Alexis Bledel of TV's "Gilmore Girls" makes a spunky heroine, while Amy Irving and Victor Garber are bitterly grim as her icy Victorian parents. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Tuck Everlasting" is a morbid, melancholy 5. I would not advise it for children who may not be ready to confront the concept of death and eternity.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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