Starring: Kyle Allen, Katherine Newton, Jermaine Harris, Josh Hamilton, Al Madrigal, and jorja Fox.
Directed By Ian Samuels
Where I Watched it: Amazon
English Audtio Description Available?: Yes
The plot: You’ve seen this before. it’s a time loop movie, that actually even directly references past time loop/time travel movies, just so you know that it knows it’s not breaking new ground. In this variation, a teenager (Allen) is repeating the same day, and in his day he has fallen for a mysterious girl (Newton), with whom he spends an uncomfortable amount of time trying to get her to change a no to a yes. Finally, after she’s made it abundantly clear that she’s not interested, he reveals he’s stuck in a time loop, and guess what? So is she!
What Works: despite a premise that is both endearing and problematic, witty and daft at the same time, in a world guided by thumbs up or down, and is it rotten or fresh, I found myself having enjoyed this to where I would actually recommend it, with a somewhat enthusiastic thumbs up, and a soft fresh (but not certified fresh) if you know what I mean.
And the reason for this is that beneath some of the more problematic exteriors that often drag the movie down, this film has a surprisingly grounded emotional core. At first, these characters walk through the day, checking off every thing they notice, and creating the titular map, but sometimes when the film decides it wants to be more than just fluff, it reveals another layer underneath.
To get specific would be revealing far too much that would ruin the experience, as it’s often these little moments that keep the movie chugging forward. When one of our time loopers takes a moment to really stop and understand the why behind something, instead of just immediately trying to fix something, take advantage, or otherwise press through without spending any time with its supporting cast.
Also, both Allen and Newton are actually charismatic enough to carry a film, without being household names. There’s a charming film in here somewhere, it just takes a lot to unpack it.
What Doesn’t Work: As I hinted, in this day and age, showing a romantic comedy where we begin with a mal protagonist relentlessly pursuing a female lead who isn’t interested in him is probably everything that’s wrong with the world as it stands, and the Me2 culture. By propping up our male lead as being some charming boy who essentially keeps using his repeat to stalk this same girl over and over and trying to get her to see him in a potential suitor light is not really the kind of film we should be making. When girls are standing up constantly claiming that real life men don’t take no for an answer, Hollywood serves them this romantic comedy, which if we’re being honest is targeted right at women, who are now supposed to swoon over Kyle Allen for being oh so cute, and the film for just being the perfect date night film.
But you can’t have it both ways. you can’t claim that one thing is poison and toxic when applied in real life, and then turn on your television and watch a movie where you fall in love with a facsimile of the same person you just took a stand against in real life. you don’t get to hashtag against the latest fallen A-lister, and then embrace a romantic comedy that can’t even claim that it was made years and years ago. This isn’t Beauty and the Beast. This movie was written during the time’s up movement, and they still wrote a film with a male lead who wears his female lead down by relentlessly not taking No for an answer. And, not to mention, the only way he learns anything about her, is because he uses his time loop to stalk her, and try and put himself in a position where he can seem heroic so she’ll like him, or he manipulates the area around him using his knowledge of how the day goes to ghost light her into believing that she’s having some cute romantic first date type moment.
In fact, that’s primarily what the map is for. He uses the map to take her on these little trips around the city where they either watch something funny or beautiful happen, or partake in some fashion, either by attempting to stop it, or solving what they perceive is a problem.But, they only reach this level of closeness after he reveals to her that he’s stuck in a time loop, which hits her revelation of so is she. So, I guess if fate puts you in the same time loop with a creeper, it must be destiny telling you that he’s the one?
But even as she relents and lets her guard down, there is still something that she keeps leaving for at the same point every day. She won’t finish the day with him, and he can’t figure out why. For a few moments, when the film flips to her perspective, to show what her days have been like, without him, the film works. Arguably, as I said earlier, there is an emotional core to this story, and it is within why she’s stuck in a time loop. For her, there’s a real reason, with clearly defined terms, and a strong emotional core.
But for him, he never realizes why he was in the time loop. He has no emotional grounding moment. In fact, the ending to the film suggests that fate chose him for her. That this was always her story, and that the gods above chose a man for her that they knew wouldn’t take no for an answer and would relentlessly pursue her, so that this film can have a meet cute ending.
Ladies, when you watch shit like this, and then turn around and complain about Arnie Hammer , it’s a double standard. you’re telling Hollywood that you want them to continue to make movies for you with a male lead who embodies all of the character traits you proudly chastise in real life counterparts, but at the same time you wouldn’t watch a movie starring an actor who in real life mirrors those exact same character traits ripped out of these movies that you find so damn sexy and romantic. Kyle Allen I’m sure is a perfectly nice actor, but the male lead he portrays in this romantic comedy aimed at women, made in a day and age where the Me2 movement and Time’s Up have been going on for years, is only contributing to the murkiness in the waters. Either this kind of behavior is unacceptable and repugnant, which would make this NOT a romantic comedy, but something else entirely, or it is, and we need to calm down on the hashtags.
The Blind Perspective: The audio description here was fine. I’m writing this review directly after having watched the movie, and I can’t think of anything bad or good to say, so I would rate it as adequate. I do remember the lead male being called strong jawed in his initial character description, which I thought was interesting. That was the primary feature they chose to give us. His jawline.
Final Thoughts: I don’t know how to grade this film. Because, like I stated at length, the main male protagonist and the way his story is set up can’t be the way we’re making movies still in a time when if he was a real person, he would have been cancelled a long time ago. The fact is, he starts out as our main character, not her. It’s his story. his story involves repeating the same day where he tries desperately to get one girls attention. not any girl. The same girl. That’s stalking. When his plans fail, he approaches his friend (not stuck in a time loop) for pointers on how to perfect his game and get this girl to pay attention to him, or give him the kind of response he desires.
There are times in the beginning where she briefly gives him the time of day, but she always ends up leaving him, and not going off with him. It isn’t until he reveals the time loop to her, and then her realization that they are both stuck in the same time loop, that she ever finds him remotely interesting beyond a brief conversation. Then, he uses his carefully calculate knowledge he’s accumulated over his time loop, the map of tiny perfect things, to take her out on these perfect days, all of which eventually lead to her never staying with him. Never choosing him. She says, I want to just be friends. And when she wants to just be friends, he plans another grand gesture, trying to get her on a plane. Then finally, she has the courage to leave his clearly insane self.
But the film doesn’t stop there. We have his realization that this is her story, then the film actually shows us that it could have been a great movie if told from her perspective, and we learn all about her time loop. But, our light bulb moment for her is that she, who has a reason to be in a time loop, believes that he was put in the time loop just for her, because he has no clear reason for being in the time loop.
Oh, and by the way, the film never actually shows us if they break the time loop. It’s suggested that because she finally accepts him, that fate will let them break the loop, but we end in the same day. We don’t ever see the time loop broken.
There was a good movie here. But, this movie feels like something Woody Allen would have been really good at writing and directing in the 70’s.
Final Grade: C )and I’m still not sure if this is the right grade for this film).