US Release Date: 01-01-1980
Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc
- Christopher Reeve, as
- Richard Collier
- Jane Seymour, as
- Elise McKenna
- Christopher Plummer, as
- William Fawcett Robinson
- Teresa Wright, as
- Laura Roberts
- Bill Erwin, as
- Arthur Biehl
- George Voskovec, as
- Dr. Gerald Finney
- Susan French as
- Older Elise
Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time.
When it comes to love stories, most are made for women. Look at Gone With The Wind, The Way We Were, The Sound Of Music or Titanic, all have strong female leads. The leading men have less screen time and with the exception of Rhett Butler are indecisive and weak like Hubbell Gardner and Captain Von Trapp or slightly feminine like Jack Dawson. They are little more than a fantasy for the female lead.
Somewhere In Time is a love story where the tables are turned. It is told from the mans point of view. The woman is the fantasy. However, it maintains the romantic feel and pace of a "woman's" love story. That is to say, there is no nudity.
Somewhere In Time tells the story of a man who falls in love with a dead woman via a photograph he comes upon. He wills himself to travel back in time to meet her. The reason this movie has such a guy angle is in how he first discovers his feeling for her; through the photo. I cannot count the many photos of beautiful woman I have seen and imagined what they were like. Everything from Playboy magazines to photo's of movie stars like Rita Hayworth, Raquel Welch or Marilyn Monroe have sparked my imagination. Yes, guys are mostly visually stimulated and all of us at one time or another have been distracted by a photo of a beautiful woman. This movie simply takes the distraction to the nth degree.
Time travel movies are almost always entertaining. The costumes and mannerisms are always interesting to watch. In this movie, Richard (Reeves) wears an outfit he believes matches the Victorian time he takes himself to. However, everyone else keeps wondering why he is in such outdated clothes.
The performances by Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour are wonderfully sincere. It is in their performances that this movie is saved from being over the top. Reeves hugging a photo or Seymour yelling "Richard!" could have easily been came off as hokey. Their chemistry, and particularly Reeves emotional scenes of loss, and frustration, make this a wonderfully romantic film.
This movie also boasts a few great lines: "Come back to me." being its most famous. I personally like Seymour's, "...I am not a rug you can wipe your boots on." line.
Most of the movie was shot in or around The Grand Hotel on Mackinac island, MI. The hotel and the surrounding island is as much a character in this movie as the Alps were in The Sound Of Music. The hotel gets more screen time than most of the actors. Its a looming force that gives the movie much of its period look.
This is a love story with a dash of science fiction. The whole time travel issue is discussed, but don't look for any special effects. Subtlety is the theme to this movie. Now can someone explain to me just where that watch first came from?
Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time.
Webster's Thesaurus provides these alternatives to the word slow: sluggish, laggard, deliberate, gradual, loitering, leaden, creeping, inactive, slow moving, crawling, slow-paced, leisurely, dilatory, procrastinating, delaying, postponing, idle, indolent, heavy, quiet, drowsy, inert, sleepy, lethargic, stagnant, negligent, listless, dormant, latent.
Any one of those words could be used to describe the abysmal Somewhere in Time. Am I supposed to care what happened to those people? Should I feel some emotion at some point during this movie? Should I have enjoyed myself at some point? Because I didn't experience any of those feelings.
Normally, I enjoy time travel stories. Normally, I enjoy love stories. I did not enjoy this movie, just in case you couldn't tell.
Eric mentioned that the performances are sincere. Yes, they are. Sincerely boring.
Somewhere in time, I lost one hour and forty-five minutes of my life by watching this film. If only I could will myself backwards in time to stop myself from pushing play on the DVD player. "It is Jan. 15th, 2001. It is Jan. 15th, 2001. I didn't watch this movie. I didn't watch this movie."
Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time.
The premise of Somewhere In Time is quite intriguing, the performances are all sufficiently sincere, the atmosphere and look of the flashback scenes are well done and yet this movie at no time rises above the level of a television movie of the week. I think the script is at fault here. I understood Richard's attraction to the photograph of the beautiful actress, however once they actually come face to face there is very little chemistry between them and the supposedly intense love they share is never evident. Also the character Christopher Plummer plays seems rather one-dimensional and contrived.
I liked the mystery of the opening scene and the character of Arthur who links the past and present together. I didn't care for the abruptly tragic ending. And as for Eric's question of the watch's origin, I would chalk that up as one of those inevitable plot holes intrinsic of all time travel movies.
Though Scott's review is funny, it is also given to hyperbole. Somewhere In Time is paced rather well for the story it tells and at less than two hours is fairly easy to sit through. I would, in fact have enjoyed it more with a different male and female lead. While Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour are both quite easy on the eyes as well as being competent actors, neither one has that indefinable star quality so essential in making a classic piece of cinema.
Photos © Copyright Universal Pictures (1980)