Round and Round (2023)
February 10, 2024 1:49 PM - Subscribe

The Hallmark Channel's take on a Groundhog Day time loop, and they're working overtime to make a Hanukkah movie feel like a Christmas movie.

Here's the official description: "Rachel's stuck in a time loop, reliving the night of her parents' Hanukkah party. Can Zach, the "nice boy" Grandma's trying to set her up with, help her make it to tomorrow?"
posted by nobody (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is not a great movie, but it's not a painful one, either (despite a few cringey moments here and there). I figured if nothing else some folks might be interested enough in the time loop conceit to see another take on it. Plus Vic Michaelis probably has bigger and better things in front of her (including her own comedy talk show series, currently airing).

Some odd decisions throughout, especially when the needs of a Hallmark Movie win out over the needs of a Groundhog Day movie.

Fast-forwarding through the third day was a confusing choice (especially because I didn't catch until later that the montage was only speeding through one iteration, not many). Pretty sure the equivalent in any other time loop movie would have been positioned at least one or two loops later. (Plus the Hallmark Movie wanted a comedic button to end the montage, but that meant placing an everyone's-piling-me-up-with-coats collapse after the loop's last story beat.)

And there's one wake-up scene I still don't understand, when she wakes up surrounded by her manuscript and seems to be at her parents' home already. Was she just taking a nap, not inducing another loop?

(Rewatching that part again, I think I now get it: the manuscript on her bed isn't her own; that's from work, and it's been there in all the other loops. The confusing thing is that it cuts straight from the wake-up at her apartment to her entering a bedroom in her parents' place that night, where her cousin has been reading her manuscript in bed now. I bet it was a last-resort move as they wrangled things down to time? Designed from scratch, it at least shouldn't have gone from one bed/manuscript straight to another.)

I thought the world-building/high-concept reveal toward the end worked (and was genuinely sweet).

And there are a couple places where I'm pretty sure Michaelis' improvising is the reason the script seems to jump up a comedy level.

Oh, and one more thing: is it possible that in the Hallmark Cinematic Universe Palm Springs really is a Tom Cruise movie? [See @ 26:54]
posted by nobody at 1:53 PM on February 10

We discussed this one in the Special Event: Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023. I loved it but I'm a sucker for anything involving time travel, no matter how far-fetched. I also thought Bryan Greenberg was great and hope he becomes an annual regular, like so many in the HCU seem to do.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 PM on February 10

Oh hey look, it's still on my DVR and now I'm watching a Hanukkah rom-com on February 10th. THANKS NOBODY ;)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:19 PM on February 10

Ha, and (re: the earlier thread) oh, neat! (and hey, Pink!)

I agree that Bryan Greenberg was good, even though he's apparently not nerdy enough to make "dodecahedron" sound natural :)
posted by nobody at 6:01 PM on February 10

There are more time-loop holiday movies than you'd expect. I have an entire list because I like time-loop movies and I also like punishing myself by watching them.

This is genuinely cute. It recognizes the tropes but also plays with them. I watched this with a friend and I said "If this movie was smart, Rachel would live this night seven times and wake up on the eighth day of Hanukkah" and yes, that's 100% what happens. I loved it.

I also liked the joke about other time-loop movies. I liked the comic store nerds and how kindly they were treated.

I did whole project about time-loop movies on my blog in 2021 and it was a lot of fun. And I have zero proof of this so it may just be my own ego, but I do suspect the filmmakers used those posts as some early research for this movie (mostly, it mentions the "inciting incident" -- I don't think I coined that term but I did use it in my posts).

If they did or didn't, I don't really care, but I love me some holiday time-loop movies. I liked this one. We're grading on a curve but it delivered on what it needed to deliver.
posted by edencosmic at 6:09 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:34 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]

I love Vic Michaelis in the various Dropout shows like "Make Some Noise" and "Game Changer" and I watch all time loop things to punish myself too... So I have high hopes for this. I'll post after I watch it.
posted by mmoncur at 3:18 AM on February 11

My list of Time Loop Holiday Movies
posted by edencosmic at 7:33 AM on February 11 [7 favorites]

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