Teddy (Rafe Spall) is a man who keeps putting things off. He can never seem to make time for others or even commit to booking in dates for major events in his life. We get to witness how Teddy met the love of his life, Leanne (Zahra Newman). After an awkward and yet humorous encounter on New Year’s Eve, the two-start dating and later they become engaged.
In the present day, Teddy has not committed to a wedding date. Even when the two finally agree on a date, Teddy cannot commit to a date for the honeymoon. Teddy enjoys using the terms “I’ll do it later” assuming he has all the time in the world. But after their wedding, Teddy awakes to find himself on the same day, but somehow, he has travelled forward in time by one year. Each time Teddy leaps forward in time by one year, he gets a short glimpse of how things look, particularly regarding his marriage, children, and close friends. Will Teddy learn the actual value of time?
I know what you are thinking. I’ve seen films like this before- it’s like Groundhog Day. Wrong. Thankfully, Long Story Short consists of many new and creative elements in its plot, type of humour and characters.
Performances here are great, and actor Rafe Spall as Teddy is easily the major standout in the film. The actor is full of energy, and like time itself, the actor is always talking and moving at a rapid pace keeping the film exciting and surprising. His humour and comedic timing when it comes to dialogue was also positive to see. Actress Zahra Newman was also brilliant as she bounces off the leading man and gives a heartfelt performance.
The film’s plot is fun, quirky, and in the end, a brainless romantic comedy with only a couple of moments that felt slightly cliché. I was pleased to see the film’s pacing moving quickly with something occurring on-screen at every moment. The story is not predictable, and I was surprised at how many times this film surprised me with its comedic and touching moments as Teddy makes significant discoveries about his life and those around him. The film also gets underway very quickly and does not waste too much time on its setup.
Visually, this film is also pleasing, and it is obvious the director has been extremely creative when it comes to achieving the best results when dealing with the film’s budget. Every time Teddy travels forward in time by a year, I found it fun to see how much Teddy’s house had changed in colours and even the general style of his updated living space. There are also moments with drone footage that show off Sydney, Australia, which is always welcome to see in film.
The audio track is also great. While some characters speak at a rapid rate, the dialogue was always clear. But! be prepared to witness many jokes delivered at once, which can be a slight issue when you try to keep up with all the gags during one scene. I found this pretty easy to forgive though.
Overall, this film is a delightful romantic comedy that brings a fresh new concept to the whole “time loop” genre. I cannot deny how much joy I had with this film. It is a fun ride filled with beautiful performances from both Rafe Spall and Zahra Newman. The plot moves quickly, and the film is never dull or uninteresting. Instead, it’s loaded with great humour, heartfelt moments and positive messages making this film another solid release from the Australian director Josh Lawson.
Long Story Short (2021) is Now Available in Australian Cinemas!