Somewhere in Time Reviews
Somewhere In Time is one of those Hollywood what-if's in regards to what would have happened if it had been widely released with their being no actor's strike occurring to limit the marketing of the film. Would it still be such a cult favourite if Mr. Reeve hadn't been tragically paralyzed by a horse riding accident and was still alive and well today? Would the film have further made Jane Seymour an 80s icon without her having to appear in dozens more films and mini-series' in order to establish herself as such if the film had blossomed at the box office? We can never really know, but amidst the what-ifs and the theories, I can say that despite it being a romance film, -- a genre of which I am not a fan of -- Somewhere In Time is a decent enough film which does have noticeable flaws, however.
Reeve and Seymour as Richard Collier and Elyse McKenna have considerable chemistry despite them being together on screen for less time in the film than you'd think. Collier is the time-travelling playwright from the late 1970s who has fallen in love with McKenna's photograph in the Grand Hotel, determined to woo her by any means necessary, and McKenna is the detached stage starlet who is - albeit fictional - possibly one of the few people who is more introverted than Morrissey.
The film has the typical tragedy-in-disguise structure. Collier is enthralled by McKenna and learns that she was also the old lady he met at the start of the film, he spends a good amount of screen time researching her and learning how to apparently time travel back to 1912 where he meets Elyse, gets rebuffed by her, convinces her to spend a day with him in which she falls head over heels for him, for the two to finally be together for a day of two of happiness before Richard makes a mistake and is thrown back into the future where he dies from the supposed heartbreak and is reunited with Elyse's spirit in the afterlife.
Both Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour give at least decent performances with the latter's being far more genuine than the former's somewhat rehashing of the Clark Kent side of Superman into a more romanticized individual who seems to have a lot he wants to say. Jane Seymour's portrayal of Elyse McKenna is far more versatile although her character always appears restrained emotionally except for her last scene set in 1912. I found it strange while watching her portrayal of Elyse McKenna, thinking that this was also the same actress who (25 years later, mind you), portrayed characters in both Wedding Crashers and an especially hilarious episode of How I Met Your Mother which can both be classified as cougars to the point where in the How I Met Your Mother episode, Barney Stinson gets so obsessed with her that he ends up dislocating or breaking a hip while in Wedding Crashers, she makes Owen Wilson utter one of his infamous "wows" in a situation which stemmed from an unhappy marriage to Christopher Walken. Seymour throughout her entire career has shown remarkable versatility that few actors are capable of, with her performance as Elyse McKenna being one of the most intentionally-restrained of them all in true fashion of the early 20th century stage actresses.
The production design is also one of the major points where this film shines. The late seventies in which this film begins have a very modernistic feel whereas the portions of the film set in 1912 radiate with an idyllic and warm vibrancy which helps the film's overtly romantic mood. It further enhances the storyline in the scenes that Richard and Elyse are together and make it so when they finally are at the point of professing to each other that it's a fuller experience for the viewers, one that flows with a vibrance which takes the entire film higher and higher before it all comes crashing down with the tragic ending.
Somewhere In Time is very much a cult classic at the end of the day, not known by a ton of casual moviegoers, or even the typical Blu-Ray savant, but those who are fans of the film are fiercely devoted to keeping it's legacy alive, and that right there is what proves it a cult film truly worthy of the term.