23 user 9 critic

Around the Fire (1998)

2:05 | Trailer
Around the Fire is the deeply resonant story of a boy named Simon, who despite being raised in an upper-class Manhattan household with all its privileges--and restrictions--is haunted by ... See full summary »


John Jacobsen


John W. Comerford (as John Comerford), Tommy Rosen
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Devon Sawa ... Simon Harris
Bill Smitrovich ... Matt Harris
Tara Reid ... Jennifer
Eric Mabius ... Andrew
Colman Domingo ... Trace
Charlayne Woodard ... Kate
Lisa Burgett Lisa Burgett ... Lauren
Henri Lubatti ... Kevin
John Pirruccello ... Joe
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Doc
Daphne Brogdon ... Simon's mother
Blaine Walker Blaine Walker ... Young Simon
Manny the Hippie Manny the Hippie ... Vegan GooBall Man
Amos Glick ... Neal
Heath Lourwood Heath Lourwood ... Jason


Around the Fire is the deeply resonant story of a boy named Simon, who despite being raised in an upper-class Manhattan household with all its privileges--and restrictions--is haunted by the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of his mother. In Simon's eyes, his high-powered businessman father Matt wasted no time in remarrying his stepmother Lauren, a woman with a perfect facade whom he suspects of having an affair with Matt long before his mother's demise. When Simon is sent away to boarding school in preparation to attend Princeton, he meets Andrew, who introduces him to marijuana and LSD, and immerses him into a whole new world populated by dreamers, artists, utopians, flower children and partiers who spend the better part of their lives "on tour" at musical festivals. Simon is deeply moved by the beauty and freedom of these people, and feels they are the family he has always sought. At his very first concert Simon meets Jennifer, a beautiful young hippie to whom he is ... Written by B Dahlia <bdahlia@nwlink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Finding a place to belong is just the beginning. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug content, language, and some sex/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Some original Star Wars production Panavision cameras were used. See more »


Doc: LSD will do to you whatever LSD wants to.
See more »


Brother John
Written by Cyril Neville
Performed by the Neville Brothers
used by permission of Rhinelander Music Co. (BMI)
Courtesy of A & M Records Inc. by arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

User Reviews

this movie stinks!!
5 September 2001 | by CombatShockSee all my reviews

"Around the Fire", a feauture length Anti-Drug commercial (watch any of them on TV as a hint to the globs of cheesiness in this film), is about an average white-boy from a rich family who gets sucked into the alluring world of psychedelic drugs, music, and the lot scene, ending up in rehab (wow, now that is an original concept, NOT).

If this film were made in the style of a docudrama and the re-creation of the lot scene had been somewhat realistic, and by someone who, heaven forbid, has ever toured or even seen the Grateful Dead before, it could have been quite good. But instead, we get a low budget, poorly directed, horribly acted, and absolutely phony adaptation of a lot scene, which is laughable to anyone who has ever been to a show before. The film makers try to be cool and realistic by offering as many cliches about the lot scene as possible, from ganja gooballs to tye dye vendors, but it doesn't work. The problem is the actors are obvious phonies, wearing brand new tye dyes and looking way too clean. If these phonies were on a dead lot they would be instantly considered tourists, if not cops by the tour-heads. No deadheads on tour even remotely resembled the "hippies" in this film. If you don't believe me then go rent "Tye-Dyed", which is an actual documentary of life on the road with the Dead, and see for yourself. Also, the films set that is supposed to resemble a deadlot is pathetically unrealistic and cheesy.

I saw this film a month ago on late night and figured I would give it a chance, but was highly disappointed. For people that have never experienced the lot-scene of the Grateful Dead, or on a lesser note, Phish, go and rent "Tye-Dyed", at least it does some justice and you see real dead heads on a real lot. For those who are experienced, watch "Around the Fire" just so you can get a good laugh out of your system. Otherwise, stay far and away, because this film is an absolute stinker.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

26 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Around the Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Novato, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo


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