Days of Future Passed?
Long Story Short has a simple premise: Teddy (Rafe Spall) is a master procrastinator-quitting his job, marrying his girlfriend, and organising a honeymoon basically it’s ‘tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow”. One day he meets a woman (Noni Hazlehurst, man she has screen presence and that voice!) who gifts him a mysterious wedding present. When will people learn – don’t accept something from a stranger, especially a stranger in a graveyard? So starts Long Short Story.
It’s a time loop film – think Groundhog Day, About Time, Naked –that through repetition the protagonist learns a valuable philosophical lesson. Each day is his wedding anniversary, and another year has passed in a waft of smoke. It’s a sobering movie that reminds us all how quickly life moves on. With a year gone in a blink, there are plenty of opportunities for Teddy to screw up.
Josh Lawson’s film is funny. Ronnie Chieng, Teddy’s uber-loyal friend Sam, gets the “best” laughs. We all need friends like Sam. Rafe Spall is great as the missing-life-through-procrastination protagonist. Is it just me, but I kept getting Chris O’Dowd vibes (The Sapphires)? Teddy’s long-suffering partner Zahra Newman, you’ve probably seen her in Wentworth or Diary of an Uber Driver, hits the right blend of frustration and caring—her life isn’t so amusing. You know what I loved about this film? Its celebration of beauty, natural beauty.
As is the case with most Australian films, it celebrates our landscape: from the opening shots of Sydney Harbour Bridge to the sweeping beachscapes (Bondi? Bronte?). Thanks Matt Toll.
Long Story Short will appeal to anyone who enjoys a rom com with plenty of laughs. The direction is tight, and the story never lags and, of course, we all know how it will end.
Josh Lawson is a talented actor … and director … and writer, I look forward to seeing more Lawson films.
Long Short Story, 100 minutes