23 user 3 critic

Neverland (2003)

| Drama, Fantasy | 2003 (USA)
2 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melany Bell ...
Joey ...
Stephanie Kirchen ...
Liza (as Stephanie Orff)
Ryan Patrick Kelly ...
Ian Mantha ...
Eli Swanson ...
Zach Cole ...
Twin #1
Nathan Towry ...
Twin #2


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Never grow up. Never grow old.


Drama | Fantasy





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2003 (USA)  »

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Written and Performed by Danko Jones
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User Reviews

grand experiment that falls flat
14 February 2004 | by (Northern CA) – See all my reviews

I agree with the other commentary on this movie. This movie is interesting in that it takes an otherwise "children's story" and sets in a hyper-reality, very much adult, setting. This allows the more adult aspects of the story to be explored. Adult issues such as drug abuse, sexual "norm" deviance, and avoidance of responsibility take center stage in this update.

While a grand experiment, this movie ultimately failed for me on several levels:

The cast of characters is far too large to allow for meaningful character development for ANY of the characters. The most prominent victims of this flaw are the lost boys. There are too many of them, and as such their decision to follow Wendy and leave Neverland seems more of a plot device than a real decision on their part, as is Peter's ultimate decision to return to Neverland alone.

The Darling kids' decision to leave their home in the first place home was another problematic issue for me. Sure, they try to explain it during Wendy's "story" to the Lost Boys in Tiger Lily's dressing room, but as is the case with literary writing, showing is always better than telling. And the short sequence with the parents in the beginning is not enough to show me the kids' rationale. Wendy telling it to me just didn't cut it.

And then there's the acting. Oh, the acting. "Bad acting" is being kind. It's a shame that an experiment of this caliber couldn't gain major funding and established actors, because the premise is fabulous. I find it very interesting that through most of the movie, the acting is horrendous from each member of the cast; however, the actors playing Wendy and Peter show their real chops during the last scene they play together. They both moved me incredibly during this final scene, and the fact that they were able to do so clearly demonstrates to me that the problem (at least for these two) was not the acting, it was the writing and direction. Both actors seem promising during this final scene, languishing in otherwise poor material. This movie felt like the writer began with the final scene and worked backward.

Overall, I love the premise. I related to Wendy's concern for the drug-addled man-boy refusing to grow up because, yeah, I've dated him, and she completely conveyed the frustration in trying to break through the haze and reach him intellectually. The DVD is watchable, although grainy in parts and particularly blurred during the pirate dungeon scene. Watchable once.

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