Tuck Everlasting
Directed by Jay Russell
Written by Jeffrey Lieber, from the novel by Natalie Babbitt
Starring Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley, Jonathan Jackson


Tuck Everlasting

I know it's early, but it is possible "Tuck Everlasting" will be remembered as the worst film of the twenty-first century. Certainly it's in the running. Whatever possessed William Hurt, Sissy Spacek and Ben Kingsley - Ben Kingsley! - to abandon all taste and wit and sign on to this dreadful project?

Here's the story (from a 1975 young-adult novel by Natalie Babbitt): Some time ago the four Tucks, father Angus (Hurt), mother Mae (Spacek), and sons Jesse (Jonathan Jackson) and Miles (Scott Bairstow), all drank from a lovely little spring at the foot of a great oak tree out in the Maryland wilderness, where maybe they ran into the Blair Witch crew -- and now they are immortal. The catch is that they all remain at the age they were when the first sips crossed their lips. They lead a quiet life out there in the woods, and in a leap of faith the movie insists we make, no one has so much as spotted them in almost a century. In Maryland? Come on.

The year is 1914, and 15-year-old Winnie Foster (Alexis Bledel), out wandering in the forest, manages to achieve what no one else has done for all those years, and that is to run across forever-young Jesse. She stays with the Tucks that enchanted summer, even learning to swim and getting (and giving) her first kiss.

The problem is Ben Kingsley, known only as The Man in the Yellow Suit, don't ask, who knows the secret of the Tucks and wants to control the spring and sell its water and get rich.

Okay, that's enough. This film is "Toy Story 2" without either the wit or the interesting characters. It asks the same question - is it better to live forever without actually living, or to live once and experience everything and then die. The answer is, it would be better to die now than spend another minute with the Tucks.