Well, it looks as though Superman is traveling back in time for the sake of love yet again, and he doesn't even have to something as stupid as fly around the Earth to do it. That resolving scene was actually was kind of cool to a certain degree, but if you aren't sold on the fact that Hollywood will pull any kind of dumb, gratingly impossible deus ex machina move to crowbar in a happy ending then, well, you might very well be right, because that bit in "Superman" was so stupid that I think Hollywood has since, or at least should have since deemed the time-traveling flyover their cutoff point. Of course, thinking really, really hard in some old-fashioned hotel room, on the other hand, is a completely logical way to travel back in time. Actually, sarcasm aside, that may very well be correct, because as Stephen King has taught us time (So to speak) and again, if you're a writer who stays in a hotel, or inn, or any other isolated area, something crazy like that is bound to happen, though I wouldn't recommend that you up-and-coming playwrights experiment with that theory, because as King has also taught us, that crazy event won't always have Jane Seymour on the other end of it. Well, it might, but it won't be the young and pretty Jane Seymour who falls in love with you, but rather the creepy looking older one we have now. It would make for the scariest Stephen King story in years. Still, as the story stands, while it may not satisfy the horror audience, it still makes for a pretty good romantic-drama film, though not at all a spotless one.
The film has its quieter and steadier moments that may not dull it down too often, yet slow still slow it down in momentum quite a bit on more than a few occasions, or at least what momentum there is. The film's development segment is quite overlong, with repetition and padding forcing in more and more, well, time on the clock before we even go back in time. Once we get there, things aren't much better, with much padding and slowness really leaving the film to limp quite a bit on more than a few occasions, taking quite a while to really pick up. Still, what is just about as consistent and detrimental within the film is the simple fact that it is just so melodramatic, whether it be Chris Reeve's Richard Collier character's initial obsession with traveling through time just for some girl he had never heard of until recently, or just the romance between Collier and Jane Seymour's Elise McKenna character, in general, or, worst of all, that way too hard to buy resolution, ultimately somewhat touching in its final shot though, it may be. The film isn't close to the biggest ear of corn you can pluck from the romance film fields, yet it does get to be a bit hard to comfortably flow into, if not just plain cheesy, to an extent. It's hard to pull a film of this concept to a high point, let alone past fairness, yet it does still stands to be better than this. However, as it stands, the film is still one to watch - nay - simply enjoy, because for ever mistake made, it pulls the right moves to really keep you with it, or at least hold your eyes' attention.
The production designs are eye-catchingly dashing, with an elaborate slickness that captures the prestige of the classy cultures within the 1910s. Another aspect that keeps you sticking with the film, and enjoyably at that, is simply its innocent charm. Sure, this film may be a touch too innocent for its own good, not having enough oomph for it to raise past average, yet it is ultimately good-spirited and well-intentioned, thus creating winning charm, augmented by some generally sharp and entertaining humor, thankfully just about none of which rely on a dreaded fish-out-of-water theme that I can't stand and feared this film boasting. What further enhances the charm are the performances, none of which are dramatically impressive, yet all of which are thoroughly charming, especially that of Christopher Reeve, who may not have been doing much more than playing Clark Kent, yet he still knew his way around that kind of charmingly good-natured role that helps in establishing some pretty undeniably fine chemistry between him and Jane Seymour. Yes, indeed, even with all of the damaging melodrama, the romance between the Richard Collier and Elise McKenna characters remains compelling, made so not just by the charismatic performers leading the way, but the man who helps in composing the path. Jeannot Szwarc's direction is anything but perfect, yet it is ultimately engaging, whether it be through the aforementioned charm or simply his ability to generally trasncend the sting of the melodrama. Granted, Szwarc is all but entirely blame for the melodrama being present in the first place, yet he manages to work around his mistakes just enough, decidedly not to where this film stands as genuinely impacting, yet still enough the romance, charm and overall experience of watching the final product to ultimately win you over, more than lose you.
Bottom line, the film is lacking on overall oomph, thus creating an underwhelmingness that goes augmented by slow spots and overdrawn segments that all simply lead to melodrama, yet through dashing production designs that liven up the world, just as much as the decent humor and colorful cast - headed by the charismatic and sparking duo of Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour - that enhance the overall winning charm that ultimately leaves "Somewhere in Time" to stand as a consistently enjoyable journey, rather improvable though, it may be.
2.5/5 - Fair