tek's rating: ½

Tuck Everlasting (PG)
Beacon Pictures; Disney Movies; Disney Wiki; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Disney+; FandangoNOW; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu

Caution: potential spoilers.

This is a 2002 film based on a 1975 book, which I feel like I must have read in grade school, but about which I remember pretty much nothing... actually, I think there was a scene I very vaguely recall from the end of the book, which wasn't in the movie. I should also say there was a 1981 film adaptation of the book, which I may or may not have seen. Probably not. I also want to say... I first saw this movie on DVD probably within a few years of its release, but I apparently failed to write a review. I'm sure I thought the movie was okay, but I think I wasn't that into it, at the time. I finally watched it again in 2013, and this time I definitely liked it better. Anyway, I can't compare it to the book... but maybe someday I'll read it again, and write a review of that, as well. Or not. I also want to mention that, as so often happens, I wasn't quite sure where to put my review. I could have gone with "family" or "period piece" or "fantasy," but I think perhaps the most apt category (somewhat ironically) is "coming of age."

So. The movie is set in the early 20th century. There's this 15-year-old girl named Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel). She's rather more spirited than her mother would like, so her parents decide to send her to a boarding school. This leads her to run off into the woods outside her family's estate. There she meets a 17-year-old boy named Jesse Tuck, who had recently returned home with his older brother, Miles, after the two had done some world traveling. Miles ends up bringing her back to the home of their parents, Angus and Mae, over Jesse's objections. Of course Winnie is frightened at first, as she's apparently been kidnapped. But the Tucks are kind to her, even though they're concerned she'll reveal their "secret," if they let her go home. But she doesn't even know their secret. Anyway, in the coming days, she quickly comes to like the family, and gets very close to Jesse. And she's enjoying her first taste of freedom, something her mother never allowed.

Eventually she learns their secret: they're all over a hundred years old, having drunk from a spring in the woods that made them immortal. At first she doesn't believe this, but it doesn't take long for her to accept it. The movie deals with the fact that immortality actually has significant drawbacks... particularly for Miles, who lost his wife and children. Also, there's an unnamed man in a yellow suit who had been tracking Miles and Jesse for some time, and now he's in town. And of course, Winnie's parents are desperate to find their lost daughter, so the man in the yellow suit sees an opportunity to find her while looking for the Tucks... since he wants to find the spring to sell its water. Ultimately, Winnie will have to decide whether she wants immortality herself, or to live a normal life.

And I guess that's all I want to say about the plot. It's a relatively simple movie, but also philosophic, and romantic, and... pleasant. It's sweet and it's bitter, but mostly just sort of pleasant.


coming of age index