Still Time is a bittersweet reminder to savor life

This is poster for the bittersweet Italian movie Still Time


This is poster for the bittersweet Italian movie Still Time

In all honesty, I have never been a huge fan of romance movies.

I always find myself frustrated and disappointed by the love interest that the main character chooses—especially when it comes to love triangles. Even so, it would be a lie to say that I don’t enjoy watching the occasional romance film; really, they have become somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Admittedly, I began watching a movie called Still Time—with its original Italian translation being Era Ora—hoping to treat myself to the occasional cheesy rom-com; albeit, despite my expectations, I was left completely in awe of everything the film had to offer.

Still Time begins at a New Year’s Eve party with the main character Dante, played by Edoardo Leo, mistakenly kissing a woman wearing the same dress as his then-girlfriend. Eventually, time passes, and Dante ends up dating and living with the whimsical woman that he had accidentally kissed: Alice, played by Barbara Ronchi. In an attempt to provide Dante with a moment of exhilaration, Alice throws Dante a small surprise party to celebrate his 40th birthday; however, Dante’s workaholic ways continually push back the party until hours later than he had promised to be home.

The next day, Dante wakes up only to find that everything has changed: all the boxes are unpacked, all the furniture is set up, and, more shocking than anything, Alice is months along in pregnancy. Somehow, a year has gone by within the span of a day. 

Still Time is able to take such a simple, probably overdone concept and turns it into a poignant and palpable film.

The time jump happens again and again. Dante is perpetually stuck in a time loop where each year of his life will go by in a matter of hours unless he can find a way out. 

Speaking truthfully, the plot and the message of the entire movie are neither revolutionary nor unique in concept—other films such as Groundhog Day or Happy Death Day feature similar ideas. Even so, Still Time is able to take such a simple, probably overdone concept and turns it into a poignant and palpable film. It doesn’t need an overly complicated plot because it isn’t trying to tell an overly complicated story. It proves that, at times, less is truly more.

Despite its similarity to many other movies, one thing I found to be rather unique was the way in which the film represented the change in time. Rather than having Dante pass out and wake up to it being a different year, the film represents time skipping through a changing environment, such as Dante’s house being suddenly unpacked. It is a subtle but clear way to signify that a jump in time has occurred.

The only problem with this is that the time jumps are never truly explained. What caused the jump or even the catalyst of them was never delved into. Rather, the film spent most of its energy on the bittersweet story of it all.

Adding to the phenomenal movie were also the riveting acting performances—especially on the half of Leo with his performance of Dante. Leo turns a workaholic character that we’ve probably seen a million times into an intricate, three-dimensional persona. Throughout the movie, Leo’s interpretation of Dante triggers sympathy as he envelops you in the stresses and confusion of his character.

Entering the movie, I was expecting nothing more than a cheesy, cliché love story to laugh at, but instead, I was left with a bittersweet feeling that the movie was over. Everything from the thought-provoking, immersive acting to the simple poignancy of the storyline turned the movie from just a forgettable rom-com to a film that I’m sure I’ll remember for a long time.