Magic In The Water

on September 01, 1995 by Kim Williamson
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   In the end a film likely to delight only the youngest moviegoers, this Triumph production casts a wider generational net with a strong first third. Two youngsters, Ashley (an impressive Sarah Wayne) and Josh (Joshua Jackson), go on a summer vacation with their father, Dr. Jack Black (Mark Harmon), a radio therapist whose divorce from his children's mother has disconnected him from them both physically and emotionally. While the kids seek adventure along the lakeshores of the British Columbian resort town of Glenorky, Dad stays inside their cabin, staring at a resolutely blank computer screen he's supposed to be filling with text for a book. Alone on a dock, Ashley makes a marvelous discovery: In the lake is a sea serpent, Orky, that loves Oreos. At this moment, like the air bubbles and luminous lights arising from the mystery in the deeps, "Magic in the Water" is a marvelous juxtaposition of real-life troubles and enchanted possibilities.
   From this point, the film devolves, slowly sinking as it's unable to maintain that equipoise between actuality and fantasy. Even the presence of one of the best "moms" in the business, Harley Jane Kozak (as Jack's new romantic interest), provides little spark. Producer Rick Stevenson ("Crooked Hearts") makes his directing debut with modest flair; what capsizes the project is a script (by Stevenson and Icel Dobell Massey) that in trying too hard to charm--to the point of reviving the dead loses its land legs in keeping real the reality, where fantasy is always best felt.    Starring Mark Harmon, Sarah Wayne and Harley Jane Kozak. Directed by Rick Stevenson. Written by Rick Stevenson and Icel Dobell Massey. Produced by Rick Stevenson and Matthew O'Connor. A TriStar release. Fantasy. Rated PG for language and moments of peril. Running time: 98 min.
Tags: Mark Harmon, Sarah Wayne and Harley Jane Kozak. Directed by Rick Stevenson. Written by Rick Stevenson and Icel Dobell Massey. Produced by Rick Stevenson and Matthew O'Connor. A TriStar release. Fantasy, computer, cabin, lakeshores, actuality
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