Tuck Everlasting | Chicago Reader

Tuck Everlasting

In this Disney fantasy, set in the early 20th century, a young girl living a cloistered existence in a mansion (Alexis Bledel of the TV series Gilmore Girls) meets an immortal family (headed by William Hurt and Sissy Spacek) who live in the adjoining forest, and after falling for their younger son (Jonathan Jackson) she faces the dilemma of whether or not to join them in eternal life. Stories like this are often tinged with sadness, yet this adaptation of Natalie Babbitt's popular children's book doesn't much explore the implications of remaining young while those around you grow old and die. The girl's liberating romance is presented in a fairy-tale glow to contrast with her strict upbringing, and Ben Kingsley, imitating Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter, injects a bit of menace as a stalker who wants to find the family's fountain of youth. Director Jay Russell (My Dog Skip) paces everything so slowly, and the story is so devoid of genuine conflict, that this seems to go on for an eternity. With Amy Irving, Victor Garber, and Scott Bairstow. 88 min.

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