Long Story Short
By Tara McNamara,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Playful romcom about life priorities has lots of swearing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Make time for those you love. Sometimes when something "bad" happens to you, something can be learned from the experience to bring good into your life.
Positive Role Models
Romantic comedy from a male perspective, reflecting a man who expresses his emotions. Women and men, even ones who are comically Mr. and Ms. Wrong, are shown as rational, reasonable, and patient (though male characters have more agency than female ones). Diverse characters.
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Story revolves around love and marriage. Sexual references/implications.
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"F--k" used frequently. Also "a--hole," "bitch," "s--t," "slut." "Oh God! and "Jesus" used as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
Flashy sports car bought to express "YOLO."
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Champagne toasts at a celebration.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Long Story Short is a romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist that's about appreciating those we love by giving them our time and attention. The morning after his wedding, Teddy's (Rafe Spall) life keeps jumping forward a year every few minutes, letting him peek into how his life is affected by misplaced priorities. While this is a love story for adults, the message certainly extends to families and friendships. It's a romance that's told from the male point of view, and Teddy isn't afraid to express his emotions. The female characters are a mixed bag -- they don't have as much agency as the male characters, but they're portrayed as reasonable, intelligent, and mature. Other than notably strong language -- especially many uses of "f--k" -- iffy content is minimal. Expects some kissing and frisky newlywed talk, as well as a couple of morning-after scenes in which characters are dressed.
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Long Story Short
Based on 1 parent review
Amazing movie! i recommend for 13 because of bad words.
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What's the Story?
In LONG STORY SHORT, Teddy (Rafe Spall) falls in love with Leanne (Zahra Newman) but puts off marriage because he's too busy. Observing their predicament, a mysterious stranger gifts Teddy a true wedding "present." The morning after his marriage, Teddy's life starts jumping forward a year every few minutes, letting him peek into how his life is affected by misplaced priorities.
Is It Any Good?
Josh Lawson's romantic comedy about a wedding present for a guy whose priorities are askew is a truly funny, heartwarming comedy. Nothing is unusual about the way Teddy is written: He's a slightly more evolved man-child. But the way Spall plays Teddy makes him mesmerizing and connects us to his plight. Spall is one of Edgar Wright's mainstays, and Teddy's droll banter with his love (Newman), best friend (Ronny Chieng), and ex (Dena Kaplan) is reminiscent of the authentic yet hilarious style we've come to love from Wright's dynamic duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Yes, there are plenty of the expected romcom elements in Long Story Short. But even as Teddy gets weary of his forced time-jumping, the concept never feels forced, and the story doesn't get tired. Sure, the busy partner/parent who's too career obsessed to enjoy the true loves of his life is a total cliche, except for one thing: It's a real-life trap that many people get sucked into. The time-travel romance genre continues to prove that getting swept away in a fantasy that somehow relates to our own lives is an effective device. The place where a lack of creativity is felt is in the script's overreliance on "f--k" as an adjective, noun, verb, and adverb. It's the only thing that prevents this film from being appropriate for a broader age range. Persistent profanity in dialogue that would othewise be smart? Now, that's tired.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Long Story Short's message concerning the value of family and interpersonal relationships as compared to work and career.
Why are time travel movies popular? What makes them work well in the romance genre? How does this one compare to others you've seen in this category?
Adults: If you knew then what you know now about life, what -- if anything -- would you change?
Families can also talk about how life can throw us curveballs that feel like a nightmare, as Teddy expressed, but often turn out to work out for the better. How can we keep this in mind as we're facing challenges?
- In theaters: July 2, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: July 2, 2021
- Cast: Rafe Spall, Zahra Newman, Ronny Chieng
- Director: Josh Lawson
- Studio: Saban Films
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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