Now & Then – The Soundtrack to Generations Growing Up

Growing up during the 90s, me and three of my friends were obsessed with the movie Now and Then.  We would watch it at my friend’s birthday sleepover ever year and think that we were those girls, and we were going to be them when we got older.  We thought that we would be friends forever, but time changed and we grew apart.  Now, I sit watching this movie in Boston alone and all I can think about are my parents.  We all wonder what our parents were like when they were kids.  Did they like the same hobbies we did?  What were their friends like?  What mistakes did they make?  What was it like for them in their first relationship?  Did they have people they didn’t get along with in school?  What was their favorite song when they were thirteen years old?  Watching this film these are thoughts that run through my head, and I realized that I don’t know the answers to most of these questions.

Now and Then is a coming of age story about four thirteen year old girls who made a pack to be there for each other no matter what, now and forever.  The film has flashbacks between present day and the 1970s, which in my parent’s case they would have been around thirteen too.   The girls grow up in that year – one them has feelings for a boy for the first time, they deal with death, understanding divorce, the loss of just having faith, and realizing that your parents are not always right.  We put our parents on these pedestals as kids; that they are untouchable, perfect, but in reality they are human too.  They make mistakes, can’t handle situations, and do things the best way they know how.  These four girls meet people throughout the film that teaches them these lessons, and the soundtrack is intertwined in those lessons if you listen closely.

The film soundtrack uses popular songs from the 1970s to set the stage. The movie flashes to the beginning of the summer of 1970 as ‘Daydream Believer’ by The Monkees plays in the background.  This shows the innocence that we all have when we are young.  The belief that anything is possible, full of hope, happiness, and faith.  The girls are riding their bikes on their next adventure singing along to ‘No Matter What’ by Badfinger.  Right after hearing this song, they run into the boys of the neighborhood who are constantly taunting them, which we all know is the universal sign of I have a crush on you.  The girls converse, where they decide it is payback time for all that has been done to them by the boys.  ‘Sugar Sugar’ by The Archies plays as they paint the garage, dancing around and having fun with another; thinking that nothing will ever change, that nothing will ever separate them, but as an adult, people that you always thought would be there, sometimes leave – they get married, create families, and drift apart from their childhood.

As a kid you think that nothing will ever separate you with the people that you care about, but as we get older we lose what’s important.  We get caught up in our own lives and the mundane routine that controls it.  We lose touch with people (family and friends), get caught up in the failures that happen, and forget that sometimes you just have to have faith.  So, I leave you with this, “Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop.  But that is no reason to shut out the world.”   Call that person that you haven’t spoken to in years, break your routine everyday, and dance like a crazy person in the aisle of a grocery store with your best friend to your favorite song.  Continue the soundtrack of your life living with the good, the bad, and the ugly, not everything everyone says (including your parents) is right, ask your parents those burning questions before you can’t, and know that the people of your past are the people that made you who you are today.

Click here for a playlist of the Now and Then Soundtrack, and then go watch the movie!


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