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Parents' Guide to

Time Is Up

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Teens in complicated romantic triangle; language, sex.

Movie NR 2021 80 minutes
Time Is Up Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (2 ):

Everything about this is disappointing, from the throwaway attitude about how people grow, mature, and make decisions, to the complete lack of dramatic tension from start to finish. Incompetently directed, edited, and acted, Time Is Up feels like what might result when a group of people with short attention spans collaborate. What is the nature of the "big test" in physics that Vivien needs to take, and what does its outcome determine? Without that information, the audience feels nothing when Vivien misses it. But no worries, she just takes it later, problem solved. Roy's dramatic arc is equally flat. He underperforms as a swimmer but it turns out all he needs to do is really, really try, and suddenly he can beat the team's fastest competitor. Life is just that easy. A voiceover offers irrelevant and contradictory metaphors from physics, meant to telegraph that Vivien is smart, but that's like putting someone in a pretty dress and expecting us to accept that she's a talented fashion designer. Nothing else Vivien does supports the notion of her exceptionalism.

Another puzzle: why was Mascolo, who has an Italian accent, cast as an American? His English is good but was there no American actor who could play this role? More problematic, Thorne radiates superficiality. Not a word she utters feels believable. As a role model for young girls, her disturbingly immobile face sends the message: emotions that can result in facial expressions are forbidden to anyone who wants to be "beautiful." It's bad enough that none of the actors look young enough to be high school students, but do 18-year-old girls living at home just hop flights to Rome on the spur of the moment? That notion may serve the rickety plot, but it doesn't mimic reality. The movie's only redeeming feature is the score, which includes two covers of the Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio, Four Seasons hit Can't Take My Eyes Off You, as well as a catchy duet, Up in Flames, nicely sung by Thorne and her fiancé Mascolo.

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