When John rescues Angela from an assault at the hands of T. J.'s marauding gang, she flees their hometown in shame, determined to make her way as an actress. She leaves the heartbroken John with the gift of a leather-bound journal, in which he records thoughts like "I was wrenched out of her arms by the holocaust of my reality."
John's gift for solemn, unintentionally funny pronouncements may be inherited from his father, Ghost Fox (Gordon Tootoosis), the kind of movie Indian who uses contractions sparsely as he reassures his son that "this soil is sacred, full of stirring memories" and that "all will unfold as it should." For Angela and John this unfolding will involve fulfilling a magical bond fated to unite them forever. When Angela falls ill with a rare disease, John mysteriously reappears in her life to realize the prophecy.
Ms. Kirshner, who plays a similarly frail and damaged character on Showtime's "L Word," is a saucer-eyed beauty with an appealing screen presence, but she's not given much to do here except suffer prettily. Theresa Russell is terrific as Angela's slatternly but loving mother, but her character disappears abruptly midway through the movie. As T. J., Mr. Olds is so calculatingly evil, he may as well be twisting the ends of a waxed mustache, while the Indian characters are stiff and noble enough to be carved in wood and parked outside a tobacco shop.
P.S. I saw Clark's A Christmas Story last year. A holiday classic? I don't think so.
If you think A Christmas Story is a great movie, you may like Now & Forever. I suspect the inverse is also true.
Now & Forever Photo Gallery