Writer-director John Ridley's time-travel romance underwhelms despite a promising premise, talented leads, and interesting source material. Let's forget that seeing Tony winners Erivo and Odom on screen will make any musical theater fan long for them to break into song; the sad truth is that they don't share the necessary chemistry to pull off a sweeping love story. All of the romances in the movie are told to viewers rather than genuinely shown. There are several ponderous, quotable lines -- like "it's ending between them, but it's not over," "love is a circle; it never ends," and "the past is what brings us to where we need to be" -- but they don't pack the emotional punch that Ridley presumably imagined, because viewers won't be totally invested in any of the couples, whether it's Nick and Janine, Janine and Tommy, or Nick and his ex-girlfriend, Alex (Freida Pinto).
Strangely, Tommy doesn't come off as some rich, Machiavellian tyrant. He's heartbroken over his divorce and the fact that his former best friend ended up marrying his ex-wife, so it's all too easy to empathize with him. And the film seems just as interested in Nick's relationship with Tommy as it is in the central romantic relationship. If anything, the parts with Tommy (and Alex, and Tommy and Alex) are some of the movie's better bits, precisely because he seems more nuanced than Nick describes him. Nick himself is toxically jealous about Tommy (again, the men's interest in each other almost demotes Janine to being just the object of their affection, rather than a fully realized character in her own right). Another highlight is Jadyn Wong as Nick's sister; she's a rare voice of reason and a general bright spot in the movie. Reportedly this film was shot several years before it was released, and it shows. It's far from an award contender, and considering Ridley and the cast's combined pedigree, that's saying a lot. Let's hope a filmmaker considers making a movie with Odom and Erivo in which they can sing, because that would have been infinitely preferable to this uneven, meandering drama.