Long Story Short Parent Guide
Ironically enough, this would have been a better film had more time been invested in character development.
Parent Movie Review
The morning after his wedding, serial procrastinator Teddy (Rafe Spall) wakes up to find that a whole year has passed, and it is now his first anniversary. Badly confused, Teddy soon realizes that he is traveling forward through time to his next anniversary every few minutes. As he watches his life change in the blink of an eye, Teddy finally realizes that his procrastination has brought him nothing but misery. Has that lesson come too late?
Inadvertent time travel movies aren’t new; we’ve all seen Groundhog Day. Apparently so did the writers of Long Story Short since the characters directly reference it multiple times. Although not wholly original, the premise of this film has potential. Watching your life happen in snapshots so that you can go back and live life to the fullest is a good concept, and the added pressure of a marriage in trouble raises the stakes for the story. Although the message is good (and one our fast-paced culture needs) the finished product unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
Because of the time travel story, we essentially end up with a one man show. The entire movie is placed on Rafe Spall’s shoulders, and I don’t think he’s strong enough to ground it. Perhaps a more seasoned and charismatic actor could have brought the script to life. Spall is trying his best, and he’s not bad, but with the camera on him almost exclusively for much of the run time, he ends up coming across as manic and jumpy. Zahra Newman, who plays Teddy’s wife, Leanne, puts in a solid effort but because of the time skips we really never get to know her on a deeper level. It can be hard to root for a couple when you don’t really know one of the partners. The whole story feels rushed and claustrophobic, a problem which would have been ameliorated, ironically enough, had a bit more time been invested in deeper character development.
I don’t want to sound too harsh; this isn’t a bad movie. I enjoyed it well enough and didn’t find it to be a complete waste of an evening. I just think there’s a better film hiding in there somewhere that could have emerged under more skillful hands.
As far as negative content is concerned, the major consideration here is the five dozen profanities dumped into this romantic drama. To be fair, my understanding is that the “F-word” is not considered as big a deal in Australia as it is here in North America, so perhaps the language is less troubling to our friends Down Under. But I don’t think this is going to be a hit for family movie night with teens. Whatever your views might be about swearing in cinema, this offering isn’t really a movie for younger viewers since I don’t think they’d be terribly enthralled by the realistic challenges of marriage. Perhaps, instead of watching a film about seizing every moment, you could just go out and do that for yourself.Directed by Josh Lawson. Starring Rafe Spall, Zahra Newman, Ronny Chieng. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release July 2, 2021. Updated June 29, 2021
Watch the trailer for Long Story Short
Long Story Short
Rating & Content Info
Why is Long Story Short rated R? Long Story Short is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout
Violence: A woman slaps a man’s face.
Sexual Content: Adult couples kiss throughout the film. Sex is alluded to in conversation. A woman tells her husband she wishes they were having more sex.
Profanity: There are over 35 uses of extreme expletives, along with around 10 uses of terms of deity and 15 or so mild and moderate expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Background characters are seen social drinking at a party. Alcohol is mentioned in conversations. A woman offers a man a mimosa. A woman briefly mentions a time that a man ate an edible containing marijuana.
Page last updated June 29, 2021
Long Story Short Parents' Guide
What lesson does Teddy learn about procrastination? What does he resolve to change about himself and his life in the end?
Have you ever struggled with procrastination? What has helped you? What other things can you do to get control of your own schedule and productivity?
Related home video titles:
The classic story of reliving the same day is Groundhog Day, starring the inimitable Bill Murray as a weather man who keeps waking up on the titular day.
Two teenagers find themselves in a time loop, repeating the same day while everyone else carries on as usual in The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.
Also traveling a similar path is Just Another Christmas. This Brazilian film follows a Grinch-y dad who hates Christmas. Then he wakes up on Boxing Day to discover that it’s Christmas all over again. And again. And again.