I was really excited for my first shot at our new Stream It series. Sometimes I think there is nothing I want to watch on Netflix Instant, but this gave me an excuse to watch one of the excellent movies that fall into my Watch It Again recommendations. There were so many to choose from that I wasn’t sure what to do. That is, until I came across Somewhere in Time, a time travel romance that makes me feel All The Feelings and will have you taking All The Xanax.
In this unabashedly romantic film, a playwright obsessed with a picture of an early 1900s actress wills himself back in time to find the woman, and the two begin a love affair. But what does living in the past mean for their future?
Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is a college student celebrating the debut of his play when an elegant old woman comes up to him in front of all his friends. She hands him a beautiful gold pocket watch while whispering to him to “come back to me.”
Eight years later, Richard is struggling with a bout of writer’s block which results in an impromptu vacation. Finding himself at a beautiful hotel, he discovers a beautiful old photograph of a famous stage actress named Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). Unable to explain his obsession with the gorgeous woman in the photo, he does researches and discovers her to be the same woman who gave him the watch all those years ago. At Elise’s home he discovers a book on time travel written by an old college professor of his. Richard visits his old professor, who believes time travel to be possible through the power of your mind, so long as you submerse yourself with time-appropriate items and surroundings.
Richard hypnotizes himself, and sure enough finds himself transported back to 1912. But can Richard convince Elise that he’s not some crazy stalker and make her fall in love with him? Will Elise’s
cockblocking overbearing manager (Christopher Plummer) succeed in keeping the two lovers apart? Or will terrible, terrible things happen.
Christopher Reeve as Richard Collier
Seriously guys, Christopher Reeve is just so handsome and charming and it just breaks my heart thinking that he’s no longer here. This was his first movie after his breakout role in Superman and he can seem a bit young and silly at times, but whatever, I love him. Now be honest, if Christopher Reeve showed up from the future to woo you, you would be unable to resist.
Jane Seymour as Elise McKenna
Before she was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Jane Seymour was a Bond girl (!) and a seasoned actress. This movie was one of her first big lead roles and, holy crap, is she utterly perfect in it. Seriously, I am kind of fangirling here, but trust me when I say this movie will convince that Jane Seymour may be the most beautiful woman who has ever lived. I cannot get over how gorgeous and bewitching she is. I mean, I just used the word bewitching to describe another human being. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. There is a reason she gets cast in period pieces and that is because she is just so classic looking. (Semi-related tangent: Jane’s costumes in this movie are incredible. There is a reason this movie got an Oscar nom for costumes!) This is truly perfect casting because how many actresses have a face so lovely that it will CONVINCE A MAN TO LEARN HOW TO TIME TRAVEL just to meet it.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Intimates Only
I was introduced to this movie by one of my college roommates, and we all watched it together in our dorm room on a shitty futon, which is the only way to do it! Not the dorm room or futon parts, those are optional. What I mean is that you should only watch this movie with an intimate group of LIKE MINDED people. Which is to say, if you announced “Hey, I’m going to watch a time travel romance movie from the 80s, are you in?” and anyone who does not answer with a resounding YES is not invited. This is the kind of movie that haters can (and will) totally destroy for you. That said, I don’t recommend watching this alone, because you may need a hug or two.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Post-Movie Binge Session
A glass of wine or two would be fine, but you’ll want to keep the drinking to a minimum. This movie’s quiet and subtle and you’ll certainly miss moments if you’re a bit tipsy. But keep that bottle of wine handy for after the movie, because you will need it. Even if you’re made of sterner stuff than I am, at the very least you and your friends will want to get drunk and talk about how the gold pocket watch is an example of a bootstrap paradox.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Moderate to Excellent
For most people who happen across this movie, reading the plot description will make them file this away into the Netflix category of weird 80s B Movies on Instant. But it is seriously a hidden gem and I urge you to give it a chance. Although not too hidden, since this movie has a super active fan society, which holds a yearly convention at the hotel where the movie was filmed. And not to assume there aren’t Somewhere in Time fans reading this website, because I’m sure there are. I had never heard of this movie until my roommate introduced me and to this day it seems hardly any of my peers have either. For those who have seen it, did you love it or do you
have a lead heart hate it? And who’s adding this to their queue right now?