Top critical review
Optional movie title: "How to NOT be a Man"
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2019
The main character has no idea how to be a man. We don't see much of his history before the film begins, but it probably involves a single mother and no strong, confident male role models. Then, because he's a weak guy (mentally, emotionally, physically, you name it), with the BIGGEST case of "one-itis" ever, he invents a time machine to go back and fix everything he did "wrong".
This is actually a very good movie for younger guys to watch to learn how NOT to be. Don't get stuck on one girl. Don't tell the girl you love her first (girls HATE this even though many will say they like when the man says it, when he expresses his feelings). Speaking of "expressing feelings", the female protagonist is always telling the male protagonist to "say what he's feeling". He does. She hates him for it (this isn't explicitly laid out, but it's obvious by their interaction), both because he's complying with her request and being emotional like a woman.
Guys, don't tell her what you're "feeling". Don't apologize to her (there is a way to apologize without being a b_tch in her eyes, google Corey Wayne "how to be a 3% man" to learn how to do an apology if it is ACTUALLY warranted).
My god, the fact that there are dudes out there who actually act like and have motivations like this main character is just painful to think about. Dads, be a part of your son's lives! It's NOT ok to let single moms be the sole parents of boys. Sure, this is just a character in a movie, but it's art imitating life.
Ok, all those life lessons aside, the time travel part is done well and without getting too deep into it. The "best friend", played by Skyler Gisondo is a good character and the acting is spot on. Why do the two dudes in this movie, about a guy who doesn't know how to be a guy, have girl's names? Life imitating art, perhaps. I digress. That's about it for the good: time travel, best friend character, and lots of life lessons on how men should NOT act.
The bad: The lead male and female characters have ZERO chemistry. Besides this, they simply don't fit on screen well together. Sophie Turner plays her character well, but her character is garbage and, while she is an attractive girl, she's not the "irresistible" type. So, the audience is confused as to how this guy has such a hardcore case of one-itis for her. Suspension of disbelief or not, it simply just doesn't fit. Combine this fact, that she's not a "keeper", with the fact that they have no chemistry and by the movie end you really just want the dang time machine to break and for them to split and the movie to be done.
I kept watching hoping something like would happen (and because the best friend character was a GREAT grounding point and the only believable, relatable thing in the film). I won't share what happens at the end, but I'll just say that whatever the end is, unless you're a guy who wants to learn how to be a man by how to NOT act like the male lead in this movie...it's just not worth watching. In fact, it's so not worth watching that I felt compelled to write this review.
-Dads, your sons need you.
-Men, don't tell her you love her (it kills the mystery, gives her validation, and removes her motivation to chase you as a source of potential validation).
-Men, don't apologize to her unless it's actually warranted and then only if you've learned how to do so correctly (so, don't apologize because you won't bother to learn when and how to do so correctly).
-Men, take care of your friends, your work and your hobbies. They will be there once she's gone.
-Men, DON'T get stuck on one girl, "one-itis". Even if you have entered into a committed relationship, if she knows she can run you through the ringer and you won't leave her, she will eventually leave you (because she's wired to not respect a man she can push around). If she knows you can leave her, she'll want you more.
Uhg. Two stars: one for time travel that wasn't convoluted and the well cast, written, and acted best-friend character