Picks and Pans Review: Tuck Everlasting

updated 10/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/14/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Alexis Bledel, Jonathan Jackson, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving

Some movies should have reverse age limits—like Suitable only for audiences 16 or under. Take Tuck Everlasting, which is based on a popular 1975 children's novel by Natalie Babbitt. Older kids and younger teens are likely to be enchanted by this lovingly crafted story of Winnie Foster (Bledel, of Gilmore Girls), a teenage girl who learns that Jesse Tuck (Jackson), her 17-year-old beau, is really 104. But no nip and tucks for the Tucks. Jesse's youthfulness, and that of the rest of the Tuck clan, is attributable to water sipped from a magic spring. "Winnie, too, is tempted to take a swig until the Tuck patriarch (Hurt) sagely tells her, "Don't be afraid of death. Be afraid of the unlived life."

Though genuinely sweet, viewers old enough to know that young love is something you survive, like pimples, will find this romantic drama's treacle factor a little high. (PG)

Bottom Line: Love springs eternal in a solid kid's film

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