DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH A PICTURE.
This one's for the ladies....My past experience with SOMEWHERE IN TIME was brief, but constant. I use to spend the night with my Grandmother every Friday night for years when I was a youngster. It wasn't that fun, but she always got Sonic and had cable. Two MAJOR pluses in my book. She went to bed at eight in the evening and I stayed up all night watching SHOWTIME. I would fall asleep around one in the morning, only to wake up around 6:30 in the morning, because my body had itself timed to NEVER miss Faerie Tale Theatre. I had to allow myself a little leeway so I didn't miss a single moment. So I always caught the last twenty to fifteen minutes of SOMEWHERE IN TIME. It played for months at 5 a.m. And with just that little bit of the ending, i knew two things. It is weird to see Christopher Reeve NOT in hot tights and SOMEWHERE IN TIME is super boring. Recently, I found myself studying the film works of Jeannot Szwarc (of SANTA CLAUS: THE MOVIE and SUPERGIRL fame) and couldn't resist trying SOMEWHERE IN TIME on for size, now that I am a little older and seemingly a little wiser. What i discovered shocked me. And I also found the ladies LOVE this movie. SWOON TIME, BITCHES!
A couple of images from the movie have been stored in my mind frame for years. I recall slow movement. Clocks ticking. Women with parasols. Someone looking in a mirror. Christopher Reeve's super tight pants. It all came flooding back as the Yentl inspired credits started rolling. One of the most surprising credits was that it was based on a story by Richard Matheson!!! The genius behind I Am Legend, Hell House and Duel!!! Somewhere In Time is based on a story called Bid Time Return. Suddenly, I got very interested in SIT. Would it be kinda fucked up? Had a tense thriller eluded me all these years? Had I dismissed it because there weren't any major Hollywood stars dressed up at pigs or frogs? Questions. Questions. SIT was gonna put the record straight finally.
The year. 1972. An old woman breaks into a play rehearsal and finds herself a hunk of a man. Mr. Christopher Reeve. She struts up to him and whispers, "Come back to me." And is OUT the door. Jump ahead to 1980 and Reeve has not forgotten the old woman, but has kinda moved past it. He is basking the the riches of his hit play, TOO MUCH SPRING. I agree. He heads out to the countryside for a little R&R and maybe to knock those cobwebs out of his noodle and start writing a new hit play. No such luck. He wanders into the Hall Of History located in the lobby of his hotel. Alfred, the head bag man, ask, "Don't I know you?" WEIRD!
Once inside the room he spots a picture of a woman of mystery.
Reeve now is convinced the woman in the picture is his beloved. He starts to become consumed by the thought of being with her. He stares at the picture while sweating. But more in a sexy way than a just in from jogging sweat. At one point I thought, "Is this bitch gonna jump through the fucking wall?". It is some Xanadu shit for sure. He acts like a lunatic. Then, the film uses one of my favorite devices to speed the plot along. Reeve goes to the LIBRARY!!! And it isn't one of those libraries with computers like nowadays. There is a whole scene with him searching through a card catalog! A fucking card catalog! I was in heaven! He proceeds to dig through boxes of old records looking for clues. The librarian comes to him and states that they are about to close, but Reeve has a secret weapon he can use against girls and gays that render us powerless. I like to call it his HANDSOME. He just has it. It is not like he has a handsome nose or handsome eyes. It a combination of things that don't look handsome, but become handsome. Here look at this:
Reeve now has only one option. He must hypnotize himself into the past. It is kinda of muddled over, because it is kinda satanic. Moms don't like satanic things. They just accept it and move on. And for some reason SOMEWHERE IN TIME pulls it off! That is some Matheson shit I wasn't expecting! POOF!! He is somewhere in time. Everything is in soft focus and has a a days of yore lighting to it. But as we know some things are timeless. People in the olden days drink COKE too ya know! We are 45 minutes into the movie and the lady in the picture, played by Jane Seymour, has not even had any screen time. But don't fret, she is coming and she is going to show you just how beautiful she can be! She is a real English lady with an accent and all! She isn't freaked out by Reeve and his story of time travel and lustful longings. She is actually into it. Some of the great things about SIT are in the details. An old time vacuum cleaner that only works if two people are operating it. For all you LACE fans, you get to see the Lace girl's arch enemy, Piggy Fastbender, in her early years. She might be a kid, but she is STILL a bitch!!! And sneaking treats. Some things never change.
The two love birds go on boat rides, take strolls and stare into each others eyes. They kiss, but never any tongue. BUT! Reeve is a smooth operator and finally gets Seymour in bed and they have a hot and steamy (PG style) sex scene. Jane even gets to shake her hair loose as Reeve takes the ribbon from her hair! Just as everything is going great, Reeve discovers a penny he left in his pocket from his real time and is immediately thrust into modern world. Which has no parasols or soft focus. It's the pits. Now he is has completely gone off his rocker and tries to hypnotize himself back into time. Will his love be lost in time forever? Will he start dry humping a picture frame? I ain't gonna spoil if for you, but it's a doozy. STUPID PENNY!
SIT, which was a classic mom movie has now become a classic grandma movie. I don't know if today's generation of moms have the patience to get through it or would even buy the storyline. It inspired many made for TV movies about time traveling horndogs. Most starred Susan Lucci or Lindsay Wagner.
Leisurely paced, but suspenseful in a strange way, SOMEWHERE IN TIME seems like a movie lost in space. It still plays well, but you need to be prepared to be sitting and thinking about life and time travel for awhile when viewing it. I had cheese with crackers and a nice bottle of wine. It helps.
The film managed to develop a cult following, which lovers of the film gather at the hotel and have parties and get to meet other SIT fans. The cast still shows up (sans Reeve). TEAR. And even got some fan art!