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IN SHORT: Another cool "what if" picture. [Rated [R], 92 minutes ]
In the quiet of your own space think about all the relationships you've ever had in your life. How many times have you looked back on any one of 'em and thought "I wish I had..." You've probably got at least one. Cranky's got three. Now try and figure out what would have happened if you'd taken that other path. Such is the path that Twice Upon A Yesterday's story takes. With no big names above or below the title, director Maria Ripoll's work will probably vanish under the onslaught of summer big budget blockbusters and high visibility starflicks. It's too bad because, like the similarly themed Sliding Doors of last year, this is a very entertaining flick.
Unlike Sliding Doors, Rafa Russo's script allows dumbo male lead Victor Bukowski (Douglas Henshall) a second chance to avoid the confession that destroyed his six year old relationship with the lovely Sylvia Weld (Lena Headey). This is no parallel story or a view from an alternate universe. A drunken and distraught Victor is granted a magic wish by a pair of garbage men modeled on Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, played by Eusebio Lázaro and Gustavo Salmerón. Thrown back in time, he gets to make everything all right, and is equipped with the knowledge of what happened in that now lost year, which kind of gives him the appearance of having psychic powers and leads to some very funny dialog. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Since their first meeting in a psychiatric hospital six years ago (boy, shouldn't that have been a warning sign....) the relationship between Victor and Sylvia has become pretty copacetic. Like most men who don't have the resolve to pop the question, Victor's eye is still wandering. A cute blonde, costarring in a play Victor is working in, has caught his eye and, well, you know. Problem is, Sylvia's best friend Alison has seen the new couple together and has blown the whistle. Victor breaks Sylvia's heart. She, in return, breaks his guitar and finds a new relationship, and engagement to new guy Dave.
Victor, of course, realizes he's mad the mistake of his life. We are now back to where we started this review. And if you've sat through as many movies as Cranky has, you can probably guess where this one is heading -- heck, we all know what we'd do differently and we all fantasize a positive result. But what if everything goes haywire?
Don't make assumptions. In this case, haywire may be a good thing.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Twice Upon A Yesterday, he would have paid...
With a clever story and good cast (including a redheaded and almost unrecognizable Elizabeth McGovern in a small part) the only thing working against this flick is that you've never heard of anyone in it, either in front of or behind the camera. Still, Cranky's gotten enough e-mail from readers that only caught up to Sliding Doors on video that he knows the market is out there. Gwyneth Paltrow's flick told the story from the femme POV. Twice Upon A Yesterday does so from the guy's side. Catch it when you can.
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