Children on Their Birthdays

Watch Children on Their Birthdays

  • PG
  • 2002
  • 6.3  (580)

Children on Their Birthdays is a heartwarming coming-of-age story set in the 1940s. The film follows the lives of three young friends, Billy Bob Murphy (Joe Pichler), Lacy Hinkle (Shiri Appleby), and Preacher Star (Jesse Plemons), as they navigate their adolescence in a small and sleepy town in Alabama. Billy Bob is a boy eager to leave his small town and head off to New York City to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer. However, he realizes that the small town may hold precious memories he should cherish. Lacy is a sweet and innocent girl who is taken advantage of by the town's most popular boy, and Preacher Star is a young boy with a memorable journey through childhood, who always reminds his friends that "life is short; enjoy it to the fullest."

The three friends share a bond that is stronger than anything else, and they stick together through thick and thin. They dream of life beyond the small town, and they know that their friendship is their biggest asset to achieve those dreams. As they navigate their way through the ups and downs of life, they learn valuable lessons about love, loss, loyalty and the importance of standing up for oneself.

The adults in the film are just as vibrant and well-rounded as the child characters. Sheryl Lee plays Miss Margaret, a mysterious and enchanting woman who has just moved to the town. Lee’s character quickly sets her sights on Billy as her muse, and her presence shakes Billy's world in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Christopher McDonald plays Speedy the Barber, a man who is bitter about the past and resentful of the town's changing times. And Tom Arnold plays Preacher Star's father, who is constantly chasing down his son to attend school, but failing in doing so.

The story is narrated by the character of Lacy, lending a feeling of nostalgia and sorrow to the plot. The film beautifully captures the innocence of childhood, and the transition to adulthood, showing the realization that things aren't always as simple as they seem. Even the title of the film is symbolic, evoking the idea that these children - on their birthdays and otherwise - are celebrating and longing for what is yet to come.

Aside from the poignant story, the film offers a colorful and vivid representation of 1940s America, with bouffant hairstyles, bright vintage cars, and vibrant street activities. The setting and atmosphere of the town are captured beautifully through the cinematography, enhancing the mood and tone of the film. There are moments of humor, sadness, love, and loss, all woven together seamlessly.

Children on Their Birthdays is a heartwarming and engaging film that explores the beauty and the struggles of growing up. The film stands out with its excellent narrative and stunning visuals, capturing the essence of the period it depicts. It is a timeless classic that will leave audiences moved and inspired.

Children on Their Birthdays
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  • MPAA Rating
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (580)