Forever Young [PG] 
Overall movie: ***
EJW content: It's Mel's movie, but it's Elijah as second-in-command who pulls off the comedy for Mel's dramatic "straight man."
Hollywood has missed a rare opportunity in not casting Mel Gibson and Elijah Wood as biological father and son--how many genes can there be in the pool for those eyes? So, both "leading men" in this movie spend a fair amount of time in blue shirts (see first picture above). Mel becomes something of a surrogate father to Elijah's character, but the man needs the boy's help even more, as he's just awakened after being cryogenically frozen for over 50 years. Mom Jamie Lee Curtis gets involved and they all try to find the pieces that are left of Mel's life. Some things that seem predictable turn out not to be. Some things that seem predictable actually are. But true love triumphs in the end, so what else matters?
Mel's the emotional center of the story and consistently makes us care about the man he's playing, beginning with the opening part of the movie that sets up his situation in 1939 and carrying it all the way through to the end. If you need an "angst-break" in your EJW viewing, this movie is a good choice, as Elijah plays a normal, happy 10 year old (who happens to accidentally wake up a "dead guy" and has to cope with the consequences), and does so with just the right touch of humor. According to reports, there was a lot of fun and friendship on this set, and it shows in the actors' easy naturalness with their roles and with each other.
The only negative reaction I had was to the "Romeo and Juliet balcony scene." I realize it's supposed to be making a point about Mel's character, not Elijah's, but maybe the script could have had something a little more reasonable for a kid in 1992 (at least a newer song)? The situation just seemed unlikely and the acting unavoidably unnatural (for some reason, though, a lot of people pick this as their favorite scene in the movie--different strokes...).
On the other hand, Elijah as a "smooth operator" wooing the same girl in the library is so dead-on quintessential 10-year-old boy I was rolling on the floor. This movie, along with Huck Finn
and The Faculty
, shows he can handle humor--when it's an integrated part of the story and character rather than added-on "skit comedy" (see North
Elijah's character is instrumental during the movie's climax. The story sets up the necessary background for this, giving us a plausible explanation for the boy having the particular skills he needs. And his fear (during the feat) and satisfaction (afterward) are just right.