The day after his wedding, Teddy (Rafe Spall) wakes up to discover that every few minutes, he jumps forward a year into his life. As his future flashes before his eyes and his life makes drastic changes, Teddy must win back the heart of wife Leanne (Zahra Newman) to get back the future that he wants. Long Story Short is well acted and charming, and though it doesn’t have too much to offer in the comedy department, it makes up for it in heart.
Written by Becca Johnson
Rafe Spall (Hot Fuzz) leads the movie exceptionally well. He carried the bumbling and confused demeanour of his character Teddy with ease, and his rushed and flustered line delivery helps the movie to achieve its comedic status. Zahra Newman (Wentworth Prison) does a good job in her feature debut, the pair having believable chemistry and a romance worth rooting for. Even when their relationship is on the brink of falling apart, it’s plain to see the love they have for each other. Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians) gives a fun side performance as Teddy’s best friend Sam, who often has to help his buddy in trying to win back Leanne’s heart.
Long Story Short takes the time-loop premise and mixes it up a little, as rather than re-living the same day, Teddy speeds through a large portion of his own life. He experiences everything from having a child to a loved one suffering a terminal illness, and through these lessons he learns how to become a better person and appreciate what he has. The message is clear and pushed from the start yet never feels forced, and Teddy has a deserved and interesting character arc. He is heavily flawed and makes many stupid decisions, yet makes it clear that he wants to become a better person for himself and his family.
Unfortunately, naming Long Story Short a comedy comes at quite a stretch. It struggles to create enough humour to make the audience laugh out loud, and as charming as the romance is, the humour is undeniably strained. Some will appreciate Spall’s speedy line delivery, whereas others will find it tiresome and a chore to consistently follow. The script struggles, as it fails to delve deeper into some of the more important and devastating events that Teddy experiences, leaving the story feeling severely underdeveloped. It never becomes boring and with a runtime of 90 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, yet it feels fairly predictable and repetitive.
Long Story Short is essentially a one-man show, set in a beautiful location, with a believable and realistic romance at the centre. The premise creates intrigue, the performances impress and it has a sincere amount of heart alongside strong, powerful messages. It allows the audience to think about their own lives and leaves them wondering just how quickly it’ll flash past. However, with a predictable and underdeveloped story and huge lack of comedic content, it loses its ability to become a household favourite. It’s worth it for the romance.