A time loop film without a time loop, but with its very own twist – and with the most magical screen couple of the year! Long Story Short is a kind-hearted film in the truest sense of the word. And at this point in time it is unique. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Long Story Short (AUS 2021)
The plot summary
The fact that Teddy (Rafe Spall) gets married is actually almost a miracle, because Teddy is one of those people who constantly postpones all decisions, who hesitates and hesitates while life passes them by. When he wakes up the morning after his wedding, his wife Leanne (Zahra Newman) is suddenly eight months pregnant and the two of them have already completed the first year of marriage, which Teddy cannot remember. He is caught in a cycle of time jumps that move each day forward by another year and present him in fast motion with the obstacles to his love and the failures of his life. With the help of his best friend Sam (Ronny Chieng), Teddy tries to figure out what went wrong between the time jumps. In the precious brief moments, Teddy must try to hold on to the time that is slipping through his fingers in order to win back the woman he loves – even if it’s just for a day.
Long Story Short Movie Meaning
Long Story Short – the film title already gives it away: Australian director and screenwriter (and actor – for example in “Mortal Kombat”) Josh Lawson bases his second feature film on “The Little Death.” A Comedy About Sex” from 2014 based on a classic from the early 1990s. “Groundhog Day” stars Bill Murray as a grumpy weather reporter the Blueprint for the time loop cinema, which has experienced an unexpected surge in popularity in recent years. These films now exist in every genre: horror (“Happy Death Day”), science fiction action (“Edge of Tomorrow”) or teen drama (“When you die, your whole life passes you by, they say “). And another one from these series – “Palm Springs” – thrilled audiences and the press just last year. But the title “Long Story Short” chosen in the original is much better in the case of Long Story Short. Because even if the romantic comedy with tragic undertones has a lot in common with a time loop film in terms of drama, Lawson changes a crucial detail and makes his film – at least at this point in time – truly unique.
Pure happiness and harmony: the newlyweds Teddy (Rafe Spall) and Leanne (Zahra Newman).
Instead of reliving a certain period of time – usually a day – over and over again, the main character Teddy finds himself in a kind of time-lapse version of his life the morning after his wedding. Every few minutes time jumps forward exactly one year. And everything that happened in between, Teddy has to somehow piece together with the help of his wife or his best friend Sam. The fact that Teddy doesn’t make it clear to anyone over the course of this time that time is moving faster around him, but that he has to deal with this unusual situation completely alone until the end, is another nice detail that makes Long Story Short stands out from the genre – usually there is always someone who the main character can convince of their situation. But admittedly: This is of course much easier if you can prove that you know all the processes around you because you have already experienced them countless times, than simply having to claim that you didn’t notice them for 365 days. The audience and Teddy are thrown into the new situation quite quickly; After just 15 minutes the concept is established. Little time for Josh Lawson to create a feeling for interpersonal interaction, but above all the harmony between Teddy and his recently wedded wife Leanne. But Lawson chooses the few scenes to introduce the characters wisely: the first time the two of them meet – an accidental kiss on New Year’s Eve – is basically enough to adequately characterize both characters. A few scenes of their everyday life together, meaningful moments from the wedding and you not only get a feeling for how close the two are to each other, but also that Teddy is one of those people who like to put off appointments. Even if this character trait, no matter how important it is in the further course of the plot, is a little neglected.
“Lawson chooses the few scenes to introduce the characters wisely: the first time the two of them get to know each other – an accidental kiss on New Year’s Eve – is basically enough to adequately characterize both characters.”
The comparison with time loop cinema is so obvious in the case of “Love Every Day” because the character maturation and associated message that are usually intended in such films are identical. Of course, over the course of ten fast-track years, Teddy learns to use his time more effectively not to delay any decision anymore. His small, likeable weaknesses are illustrated by a marriage that is gradually crumbling: the first wedding anniversary, which is already in crisis because Josh has forgotten the gift to his wife (and her pregnancy at that), is followed by scenes of argument, separation, the discussion about joint custody. There may be a certain predictability inherent in all of these stages – they are the “scenes of a marriage” that have often been described. But you don’t just desperately hope for a happy ending for Teddy and Leanne because the two of them are so sweet together. Above all, Josh Lawson never stops at mere deconstruction, but rather takes a lot of time to explain the reasons for the failure, which allows you to fully understand why things didn’t work out between the two without making a character a scapegoat. And then there’s also the fact that “And Every Day Greetings Love” is, at its core, a romantic comedy – and Rafe Spall has already proven his instinct for portraying clumsy likeable characters in this field thanks to the badly underestimated “That won’t last a year”. .
Leanne hugs Teddy, his daughter for the first time.
It’s just a lot of fun to watch Teddy wander through his own life; And how he gradually learns from his mistakes, without anyone ever having to give a fiery, obvious speech to summarize the film’s core message. Even though Teddy’s final realization is a bit too offensively euphoric at the end, the exuberant happy ending rounds off “And Every Day Greetings Love” in its entirety as a feel-good film with an inspiring message. But also the stunningly charismatic Zahra Newman (“The Moment of Truth”) plays a crucial part in making the film as a whole so fundamentally likeable. Just like Teddy, she never becomes a headless fury and tries to respond to her husband in every situation, no matter how obscure, before it gradually becomes clear why the marriage is (rightly) in crisis. Ronny Chieng also has a nice little supporting role (“Godzilla vs. Kong”) inside. As Teddy’s best buddy, who does everything in his power to help his best buddy, who is apparently completely beside himself, he quickly attracts everyone’s sympathy and harmonizes perfectly with Rafe Spall. Long Story Short rarely breaks out of this three-way constellation. Neither does the rather cramped setting of Teddy and Leanne’s apartment, which gives the RomCom something very intimate. Only in the home stretch does the director take advantage of the beguiling summer backdrop of the Australian beach, right in front of Teddy’s front door, to make his film a little more visually varied.
“It’s just so much fun to watch Teddy wander through his own life; And how he gradually learns from his mistakes, without anyone ever having to give a fiery, obvious speech to summarize the core message of the film.”
The final message of the limited time for each of us, in which it is best to enjoy every minute – whether alone or with your loved ones – also comes with a wooden hammer due to the genre. But like “It’s all a matter of time,” which is located on similar terrain, the filmmakers do not use the obvious insights from their film to illustrate this message, but instead create situations drawn from life that everyone can think of can connect with us in his/her own way. As far-fetched as a time-lapse premise may be, it ultimately comes across as surprisingly down-to-earth.
Conclusion: A RomCom enriched with fantasy elements on the trail of time loop cinema, which turns different adjustment screws in the crucial moments: With “Long Story Short” Josh Lawson has not only succeeded in making a wonderfully surprising, intelligent and cute film about love, but has also Rafe Spall and Zahra Newman are also the sweetest screen couple of 2021 on his side.
“Long Story Short” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 8, 2021.