While Project Almanac begins weak, but once the romance between David and Jessie picks up, you get some quality entertainment.
Characters & Story
David (Jonny Weston) is MIT-bound and has quite the aptitude for technology. Issue is, his family can’t afford to send him to MIT. So, among the many ways his mom tries to fix this, is selling the house. Something which naturally isn’t the best option. Especially since it screws over David’s little sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) in the process.
Leading to David’s one last hope: A scholarship. Something which leads David to dig through his dad’s old things in hope of finding some sort of project. Thus leading to the discovery of Project Almanac. Something that, with the help of David’s friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista), comes intro fruition. Though it is Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) which takes this basement project into a massive science experiment. One which, as you can guess, starts off as fun and games, but David trying to change one specific moment in history, and trying to maintain the effect of that decision, nearly destroys what made his life worth living.
To begin, this movie was honestly a bit boring until Jessie became a stronger focus. For it is truly the chemistry between Black-D’Elia and Weston which saves this film. If only because David is so awkward, and Jessie is authentic in a very peculiar way. Like, she isn’t portrayed as some overly popular girl, per se, and at the same time, she isn’t some sort of manic pixie dream girl. Which isn’t to say she rises above being a simple love interest, for we don’t learn things about her, like where she plans to go to college, but compared to other movies which pair cute girl and cute guy, there is something vastly more appealing with these two. To the point, I was squirming in my chair for I was happy for them, and mad whenever David messed up an opportunity with her.
As noted, Jessie is a rather shallow character who pretty much revolves around being the girl David likes. For while it is noted she does track, she never talks about it and, after she becomes a regular in the movie, pretty much that part of her life no longer exists. Focusing on the rest of the characters, again, it’s hard to tell what is happening outside of the moments they are hanging out with David. Making it so most of the cast is pretty shallow.
Though what bothered me the most is that when they start to use the time machine, there is no logic. For example, in the original test they use one of Christina’s old Barbie cars and it ends up returning to the present fused into the wall. This incident is never noted when it comes to the kids time traveling at all. And, in general, there is something about the lack of common sense, and the movie throwing out big words to possibly confuse you, which makes you more so want to question what they are saying, and doing, rather than just go along with whatever happens.
Overall: TV Viewing
When I walked out of the movie, I was on the border of making this Worth Seeing but, when I really sit down and think about what I saw, I realize TV Viewing is the best label for this. The reason behind the decision is that as much as the romance between Jessie and David revitalized this movie, and really brought me into it, I can’t ignore that the scientific parts of the movie, and any character not named David, seemed shallow and perhaps not too thought out. Hence the TV Viewing label for the romantic plot really does create such a strong selling point that it almost fully compensates for whatever criticism you can come up with. Though, if you really sit down and think about it, the film, in retrospect, isn’t as good as the high it leaves you on. Partly due to the ending which is just seriously worth an eye roll.