A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is little to worry about in this romance. Though to some, the intensity of Richard's desire to go back in time to find Elise may look like an unhealthy obsession.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is confronted by an elegant older woman who gives him a pocket-watch while he is cutting the cake at a celebration of his first play. He is stunned to hear her whisper, "Come back to me." A few years later when he is struck by writer's block, he finds himself in his old college town staying at the Grand Hotel. He's instantly struck by a beautiful woman's photograph in the hotel's Hall of History, and, with some help, proceeds to travel back in time to try to find her. Sure enough, when Elise (Jane Seymour) looks deeply into his eyes and asks, "Are you the one?" they fall in love. Whether Richard can keep a foot in time past gives this romantic fantasy a touch of mystery.
Is it any good?
Romantics everywhere will swoon to watch Christopher Reeve court Jane Seymour in this classic period piece. It's a little hokey at times (time travel in a hotel room, really?), but the film successfully captures the chemistry between the two actors, making the love story a little more believable. Elise's reticence to fall in love with Richard, coupled with the intensity and gentle quality of Richard's appeals make for good, gooey romance.
Moreover, by recreating the heyday of the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan, the movie gains another leading lady. This hotel is unlike any other, and its elegance and monument to time past brings a little credence to the unrealistic time-travel bit. Scenes depicting the lovers rowing a boat on the lake, strolling on the vast lawns, or dancing in the grand ballroom work very nicely. Cynics or macho types won't find this movie tolerable: it's really meant for dreamers and lovers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about love and its power to bring people together, as well as its power to break hearts. How do different people deal with the end of a relationship, or the loss of a loved one? How do Richard and Elise cope with their separation?
Time travel is a central theme to this movie. How does Richard try to travel through time? What does the concept of time mean to you? Do you relate to certain eras more than others? Why do you think that this is so?
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