One-Minute Time Machine

Every time the beautiful Regina rejects his advances, James pushes a red button to try again, unaware of the real consequences of his actions.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 5.40

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Devon Avery, Brian Dietzen

Director/s : Devon Avery, 

Writer/s : Sean Crouch, 

Actor/s : Brian Dietzen, Erinn Hayes

 

Groundhog minute

It’s not as if One-Minute Time Machine needs extra publicity. With over five million YouTube hits, it’s probably one of the best-watched short films available online. It’s a compressed version of Groundhog Day, as James tries to pick up Regina, and each time he mis-steps, he just hits the red button to go back sixty seconds. He can perfect his chat-up lines by trial and error.

The humour lies in the countless ways he goes wrong, and Brian Dietzen plays him with great goofy charm. Charm which disguises the male wish-fulfilment fantasy at the heart of the story. Women may not find what is essentially a grooming process quite so charming.

What helps is the unforeseen existential crisis, a twist that I won’t give away, which pulls the rug out from under him. Turns out she knows more about the perils of time-travel than he does. And – a double twist – she isn’t above using that knowledge for her own ends. Erinn Hayes plays Regina with fine comic brio.

But the main credit has to go to writer Sean Crouch, who plays out the story through a string of one-liners, and gleefully yanks our expectations not once but twice.

It’s a perfectly structured and morally dubious entertainment. It’s comedy, with a heart of darkness. Not Groundhog Day in miniature after all.