The Man in the Moon

If you didn’t catch The Man in the Moon in the theater, good. Now you can rent it and enjoy this gentle picture without afterward having to let a bunch of strangers see you’re a weepy, sentimental fool. It’s summer in rural Louisiana, in the early-Elvis era, and Sam Waterston is a father trying to strike the balance between giving his teenage daughters the freedom to grow up and shielding them from hurt. Jason London is the handsome, earnest neighbor boy with whom both daughters fall in love (and who should not be confused with his twin, Jeremy, who plays Waterston’s handsome, earnest son on TV’s late-’50s Southern drama, I’ll Fly Away). The movie captures to a heartbeat the exquisite ache of a girl’s first love. But it’s the performances — especially by the too-natural-to-be-acting Reese Witherspoon as the younger daughter — that lift the familiar themes of love and loss, rivalry and affection above melodrama, leaving viewers Moon-struck. B+

The Man in the Moon
  • Movie
  • 99 minutes