Road Rash Reviews

The Present Cinema Review****-

Cert PG | 87 mins | 2024

4 star time travelling fun for the whole family.

The Present is a 2024 American family comedy film written by Emmy Winner Jay Martel (Key and Peele) and directed by award winning filmmaker Christian Ditter (How To Be Single, Love Rosie).

It is coming to UK and Irish cinemas from 24th May 2024, courtesy of The Movie Partnership.

“The clock can help you now and then, but only you can change events.”

As the film opens, we see husband and wife Eric (Greg Kinnear – Sight, Crisis) and fitness instructor Jen (Isla FisherVisions, Wedding Crashers) sitting down for a family dinner with their three children, Emma (Shay Rudolph – I Wish You All the Best, The Baby-Sitters Club), Max (Mason Shea Joyce – Hotel Artemis) and Taylor (Easton Rocket Sweda – General Hospital). They have bad news, they are going to have a trial separation.

As Taylor leaves the table, we rewind to that morning, as the family take delivery of a Grandfather clock which Eric inherited from his father. Taylor, who is non verbal and only communicates using a tablet, is immediately taken with it and sets about fixing the old mechanism. In doing so, he discovers that the clock can turn back time by twelve hours. He determines that he will use this time to make sure that his parents remain together.

He enlists the help of his siblings, but everything seems to conspire against them, including their marriage counselor (Ryan Guzman – Windows on the World, 9-1-1), Jen’s student Richard (David Sheftell – Willy’s Wonderland) and Eric’s real estate agent (Alphonso McAuley – The Hyperions). With the clock’s power winding down and time running out, can the siblings work together to save their family?

“It doesn’t have to be Jacob, it could be any of the old testament prophets. I’ll pay for non alcoholic beverages, g-rated movies and abstinence pamphlets.”

The Present is a really enjoyable feel good family film. Although the subject matter seems mundane for a time travel film, it pays off admirably. The family dynamic is very well written and the film benefits from the considerable comic talents of Isla Fisher and Greg Kinnear. They also have excellent chemistry, which makes you root for them all the way through.

The colours are vibrant and the soundtrack compliments the story well. The film is framed in various sections, exploring the day from the point of view of each of the characters. This is a great idea and helps us to empathise with their situation. Think Groundhog Day but charming and full of nice people.

This is a fun comedy and well worth a family afternoon out to the cinema.

“Okay, how about this? Blueberry buttercup fatty pickles!”

The Present is coming to UK and Irish cinemas from 24th May 2024.

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DirectorChristian Ditter
GenreComedy, family
StarringIsla Fisher, Greg Kinnear, Ryan Guzman, Easton Rocket Sweda
Category: Cinema, film, Review