The Man in the Moon – Nostalgiathon 2012

Now that Nightmare is over and done with, I’m finally free to start with Nostalgiathon 2012!  And my very first entry is the 1991 film, Man in the Moon.  Starring Reese Witherspoon in her very first time onscreen and  featuring Sam Waterson in his last theatrical film before he started with Law & Order, this is a film I had completely and utterly forgotten about until I browsed HBO Go a couple of nights ago and found it and was flooded with hazy memories of having loved it when I was eleven.  What better way to start of Nostalgiathon right?

Directed by Robert Mulligan and also starring Jason London (do y’all remember those London twins??), Man in the Moon is set in the summer of 1957 and focuses on the Tant sisters, Dani (Witherspoon) and Maureen (Emily Warfield).  Dani is fourteen and a firecracker who still likes to run off down the pond to go skinny dipping while Maureen is seventeen and dreaming about what the future holds for her.

Talking to the Man in the Moon

One day whilst skinny dipping, Dani meets Court (London) a new neighbor whose family has actually been friends with her parents since high school (prior to moving away and then moving back).  It isn’t instantaneous, but pretty darn close, before Dani is head over heels for Court.  They become great friends and Court even gives Dani her first kiss.  This is all before Court finally meets Maureen and, for them, love is instantaneous which leads to hurt feelings all over the place and confusion on Dani’s part.  When tragedy strikes will Dani find it in her heart to forgive her older sister or will their relationship be lost forever?

First kiss

I don’t know why I loved this as a child – I don’t remember a lot from childhood – but I’m going to say it was probably the melodrama because I was quite the melodramatic child (and may or may not tends toward melodrama now… ;)).  I’m sure it struck some chords with me for a variety of reasons – the Tants reminding me a bit of my own family, not knowing who I was at eleven or who I would be but dreaming of leaving the small town I was stuck in for bigger and better things, plus first love – I imagine all little girls dream of that at some point.  So how did it fare watching it as an adult?

Frankly, I really enjoyed it.  Sure there were scenes that were totally contrived and the melodrama was over the top at points but I still enjoyed the story and I still got a tear in my eye at a few points.  This won’t be a movie that I’ll go out and buy and watch again and again but I imagine in another ten years, I’ll likely get a hankering for it.

One last note – if you’re only familiar with Reese Witherspoon from her days in romantic comedies, I highly suggest you go back and check out her earlier work.

About mistylayne

I'm a Z movie loving, horror hound, Buffy quoting, Dr. Who watching, geekazoid and seeker of all things unusual. I'm a gypsy wanderer, lover of words, Wendy of the damned and all that jazz. What can I say? I'm complicated.

Posted on 2012.21.November, in American Cinema, Oldies but Goodies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. You know, I’ve cracks made about Reese and her chin; but the truth is she’s a beautiful and very talented woman. Haters gonna hate. I like Reese Witherspoon and Reese Withoutherspoon. Great post, Misty!

    • I meant to say I’ve heard cracks; not I’ve cracks.

    • *giggles* “Withoutherspoon” – kay, that made me laugh. She is uber talented. I think it got lost in all the rom-com’s (although I heard she’s pretty fantastic in Walk the Line) but seriously go back to when she first started acting like “Freeway” – that movie blew me away in general and she was just amazing in it, I thought.

  2. Never heard of it, thought it was ‘Man On The Moon’ with Jim Carrey. Gotta check this one out.

    • Lol, that’s the same thing my roommate thought when I first mentioned it. I think this one might not have been as well known as some other movies? Again, I had forgotten about it until I saw it on HBO Go. If you’re a fan of melodrama and sentimentality, it’s definitely worth a view.

  3. WOW – I loved this movie way back when!! What a morning trip down Nostlagiathon Lane! Good one!!

  4. Not heard of this one, but nice write up! I’m not sure this will appeal to adult me in all honesty 🙂 Also, I hear no mention of this so called man in the moon. I have a feeling he’s not in it at all!

    • *giggles* He’s in there by proxy, I swear! They totally mention talking to him at least once. 😉 Yeah, as melodramatic as this is, it would be hard to appeal to most adults I think. But it fits in with my streak of melodrama. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Great write up. Wasn’t aware of this one, but I can be partial to a bit of melodrama when the mood takes me – I might check it out if it pops up on tv.

  6. My favorite Reese Witherspoon movie is ‘Election’ with Matthew Broderick. If you haven’t seen it you should as it is very offbeat and funny.

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