Rated 5.0

Director Rob Reiner’s movie follows two neighbor kids from second to eighth grade—the girl played first by Morgan Lily, then Madeline Carroll; the boy by Ryan Ketzner, then Callan McAuliffe—as she relentlessly pursues a friendship with him and he flees this “weirdo” with mounting desperation. In Reiner and Andrew Scheinman’s script, Wendelin Van Draanen’s youth novel is backdated to the 1950s and ‘60s to mine the rich vein of baby-boomer nostalgia, but the book’s core remains, switching viewpoints in he said/she said alternation, and the result is rich, warm and wonderful, Reiner’s best and most affecting movie to date. Rebecca De Mornay and Anthony Edwards play the boy’s parents, Penelope Ann Miller and Aidan Quinn the girl’s, and John Mahoney the boy’s sagacious grandfather; all are first-rate.