Long Story Short is a disposable, time-jumping romantic dramedy, with a general premise that doesn’t seem as novel as it did before. By this point, I am so burned out from time-jumping, day-repeating, and throwaway rom-coms. A fresh spin on a tired formula is always welcomed with open arms; however, Long Story Short does little to break free from the genre tropes. It fails to do anything original, but it is certainly fun and enjoyable easy-watching.
After making out with a random girl at a party that he thinks is his girlfriend (but is actually just wearing similar clothes), Teddy (Rafe Spall) ends up falling into a whirlwind romance with Leanne (Zahra Newman). The duo is together for several years and become inseparable. The morning after their wedding night, Teddy wakes up and finds Leanne heavily pregnant. Every few minutes, he jumps a year forward in his life, right on his anniversary. Is there a way to stop moving forward, or is Teddy’s life going to pass him by?
Leanne keeps thinking that Teddy just forgets about their anniversary every year. He has to prove himself even as each time jump shows everyone around him changing unfathomably. His bestie Sam (Ronny Chieng) is a constant, who always catches him up to speed and asks very few questions. The crux of the story is that, through it all, Teddy is constantly trying to prove how much he loves Leanne. As time progresses, Teddy grows more and more desperate. He often doesn’t even understand or agree with the choices he’s making, or the person he’s become.
It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, two timeless tales, have done a play on this type of story that drains this one of much originality. The ensemble cast is strong, and one moment made me laugh out loud. “If I were you, I’d slap me,” Teddy says to Leanne in the midst of one of their arguments. Before he can get the last syllable out, she slaps him across the face. This kind of cute humor would have been a joy throughout. The comedy bits are only used sparingly, and would have helped to elevate a story that runs dry. Long story short: it is a predictable riff on the saddest parts of Adam Sandler’s Click, and it has some occasional charm and funny moments that at least provide passable entertainment.
Long Story Short makes the jump into theaters, On Demand, and Digital on Friday, July 2nd.