Twice Upon a Yesterday


Cringingly titled and lumpily assembled, this stew of Brit
romance and banal magical
realism is conceptually lame in
hot-diggity ways we haven’t seen since 1995’s Destiny Turns on the Radio. A philandering London bloke (Douglas Henshall) loses his girlfriend (Lena Headey) and then, thanks to the intervention of a mystical bartender
(Elizabeth McGovern, you read right) and two magical Spanish garbagemen, gets to relive a chunk of his life and try to set things straight. The fateful
appearance of new-girl-in-town Penelope Cruz tosses a wrench into his gears. Groundhog Day put this sort of fanciful sheep wash to rest some time ago, and spell-spinning junkyard workers only make what already seems tired seem infantile, too. Thankfully, the actors are energetic: Henshall is earnestly frantic and Headey is Irish-setter-puppy cute, but the movie is thieved by Cruz, for whom movie theft has become a career. (Do you
remember anything else from The Hi-Lo Country?) She needn’t do more than offhandedly
struggle with an oversized sweater to make the rest of the film instantly fade in the mind.