Thursday, March 23, 2006

Somewhere In Time

If you enjoy romance films of the “fluffy” variety, this one’s for you. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc and based on the novel by Richard Matheson, Somewhere in Time (1980) tells the story of a modern-day Chicago playwright who falls in love with a popular actress from 1912.

Using self-hypnosis, Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) manages to transport himself back in time so that he can meet the woman that has become an obsession to him. The beautiful Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour) instantly feels a connection to this mysterious stranger, despite her initial wariness. Her manager, William Robinson (Christopher Plummer), is not merely wary of Collier but outright hostile towards him and persistently attempts to prevent the lovers from growing any closer.

Is Collier and McKenna’s love strong enough to withstand the boundaries of time itself? Can Collier sacrifice his life in the future for a possible life with McKenna in the past? One would think that such questions deserve to be treated seriously indeed. Unfortunately, Somewhere in Time takes the idea of a powerful, time-defying love so seriously that it leaves no room for character development. The cinematography is undeniably beautiful (the film received an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design), but the story itself is weak. The actors do the best they can with a script that does not do justice to their talents. Ultimately, Somewhere in Time is an inadvertently ridiculous film that is entertaining but insubstantial.

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