A young woman finds herself on a journey to reconnect with the love of her life in this exciting time travel romantic drama from director Greg Bjorkman.
When Laura is introduced to Harrison by Laura’s best friend Chloe, at first things seem a bit tense between them. Laura is an avid music lover and aspiring artist, and Harrison works at a retro music store. However, the two soon connect over their love of similar bands. Soon enough, the two fall in love and share their similar passions together. They fall more in love where Harrison decides to stay and support Laura in her dreams. However, tragedy soon is set to strike.
When Harrison is killed after a car hits him, Laura is devastated. Mourning the love of her life still four years later, she decides to start playing their mixtape and something surprising happens. Laura finds herself transported back in time to when she first met Harrison. She soon learns that she may have a chance to save him. However, as the song ends, Laura is back in the present. With each song, she has a chance to reconnect with Harrison and hopefully change the course of things. With the last track approaching, can she successfully save him, or will it be too late?
Time travel and romance films are quite a trend to work with. Films like The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the combination of romantic emotions and the idea of time travel to keep the “spark” going. However, this film not only involves time travel and romance, but has a great concept involving a nostalgic item in a modern world: the mixtape. A staple of most of the 80s and early 90s, the mixtape may just find its comeback via this film after an attempt in Not Another Teen Movie. The idea of a mixtape as the time travel device brings the most original idea for a device since the titular Hot Tub Time Machine.
However, the most important thing about a romance film is that the chemistry between the two leads has to be perfect or the film will not work. Thankfully, the heart of the film is the chemistry between Clara Rugaard’s Laura and Lewis Pullman’s Harrison. From the moment they appear together, you can predict we will have something special, and it proves to be case. The characters’ passion of music and life on the beach is the heart of the film.
Kudos also goes out to matchmaker Chloe, the headstrong bestie of Laura, played excellently by Lyrica Okano. Chloe’s relationship issues are a bit of a subplot with the focus on Laura attempting to warn Harrison of his impending doom so he can stay alive. As the proprietor of the retro music store, Danny Glover serves as a “sage” of sorts when it comes to giving Laura some good advice on how to overcome her grief. The final moments of the film provide quite a breath of fresh air and was quite a shock.
Press Play is heartwarming and emotional while bringing something fresh to the time travel genre by using a nostalgic item to a modern world with the mixtape. Clara Rugaard and Lewis Pullman are romantic gold and the heart of the film. Definitely worth checking out.
WFG RATING: B+
The Avenue presents a CJ Entertainment production. Director: Greg Bjorkman. Producers: Josh Boone, Francis Chung, Logan Lerman, and Jonathan Schwartz. Writers: Greg Bjorkman and James Bachelor; story by Josh Boone. Cinematography: Luca Del Puppo. Editing: Patrick J. Don Vito.
Cast: Clara Rugaard, Lewis Pullman, Lyrica Okano, Danny Glover, Kekoa Kekumano, Luke Lenza, Christina Chang, Matt Walsh.
The film is now available in select theaters and on Digital.