Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Paradise (Touchstone Movie)

“Paradise” is a 1991 romantic drama film directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue. The movie stars Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, and Elijah Wood. It follows the story of a young boy named Willard Young (played by Elijah Wood) who loses his parents in a tragic car accident and is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a small town.

The film delves into the emotional journey of Willard as he struggles to cope with the loss of his parents and adjust to his new surroundings. While living in the town, he befriends a local girl named Billie Pike (played by Thora Birch) and her mother, Lily Reed (played by Melanie Griffith). Willard is drawn to Lily’s free-spirited and unconventional lifestyle, which contrasts with the conservative values of his aunt and uncle.

As Willard spends more time with Lily and her family, he begins to learn important life lessons and starts to find his own path in life. The movie explores themes of grief, family, friendship, and the search for meaning and identity. It presents a heartwarming and often bittersweet story of how the bonds of friendship and love can heal emotional wounds and help individuals grow.

Melanie Griffith’s portrayal of Lily Reed earned her critical acclaim, showcasing her acting versatility and depth in the role of a flawed yet endearing character. Elijah Wood’s performance as the young Willard also received praise for capturing the vulnerability and resilience of his character.

“Paradise” received mixed reviews from critics but found an audience with viewers who appreciated its tender and poignant storytelling. While not a blockbuster hit, the film has remained a favorite among some audiences for its heartfelt narrative and strong performances.

Overall, “Paradise” is a touching and emotionally resonant film that explores the complexities of human relationships and the power of love to heal and transform lives. It serves as a reminder of the importance of embracing life’s challenges and finding beauty in unexpected places, ultimately leading to a sense of healing and personal growth.

Additional Details


  • Melanie Griffith: Lily Reed
  • Don Johnson: Ben Reed
  • Elijah Wood: Willard Young
  • Thora Birch: Billie Pike
  • Sheila McCarthy: Sally Pike
  • Eve Gordon: Rosemary Young
  • Louise Latham: Catherine Reston Lee
  • Greg Travis: Earl McCoy
  • Sarah Trigger: Darlene
  • Richard K. Olsen: Minister
  • Rick Andosca: Ernest Parkett
  • Anthony Romano: Popular Boy (Clay)
  • Timothy Erskine: Darlene’s Boyfriend
  • Chestley Price: Bus Driver
  • Dave Hager: Bartender
  • John R. Copeman: Other Fisherman
  • Jeff Jeffcoat: Eddie (The Attendant)
  • Scott Hubacek: Greyhound Bus Driver
  • Melanie van Betten: Marliss
  • Jason Robert Somrak: Neighborhood Tough
  • William Thomas Crumby: Lou
  • Carl McIntyre: Willard’s Father


  • Director: Mary Agnes Donoghue
  • Producers: Scott Kroopf and Patrick Palmer
  • Screenplay: Mary Agnes Donoghue

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and