'Now & Forever'

Now & Forever's heart is in the right place, but its mouth is not; this earnest Canadian production from 2002 boasts one of the single most odious voice-over narrations in recent memory. It is read by Adam Beach, whose apathetic delivery suggests that he understood the innate crappiness of lines like "At that moment, my heart discovered new words for emptiness that my mind could never grasp." Beach's John waxes philosophomoric for Angela (Mia Kirshner), who stands up to one of his childhood bullies, endearing herself to him for all eternity ("I knew that joy and pain would now forever be my constant companions!"). In the film's final third, Angela and John reunite after a lengthy separation, and the stars, unencumbered by pretentious voice-over, develop a warm chemistry. But the screenplay keeps getting in their way: Why would a woman haunted by sexual abuse write an autobiographical screenplay about her life and cast herself in the lead? It doesn't make any sense, but it lets director Bob Clark (A Christmas Story) start the movie with a manipulative twist. At least the title's accurate: This is a viewing experience that feels like it will never end.

 
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