It's almost Valentine's Day, which means we're about to knee deep in schmaltzy romantic movies (Winter's Tale, About Last Night, Endless Love) and horror or action flicks (3 Days to Kill and The Returned). With most of these, we know what we're getting ourselves into, but in the case of Colin Farrell's Winter's Tale, a ridiculously well-advertised romantic drama, it's anyone's guess.
The film also stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey ) as Farrell's love interest and that is just about the only thing apart from ambiguous time travel/magic themes that the deluge of trailers manages to communicate, leaving us with one important question: what the hell is this movie about?
If we're going to be stuck with few options during this miserable winter month, we'd better at least know what overwrought romantic nonsense we're signing up for. Unfortunately, the promotion for the film seems dead-set on maintaining the film's grand secret like it's not ripped from the plot of a 1983 best-selling novel of the same name. Well, thanks to the internet, we don't have to go into the theater blindly. We can learn a little bit about this mystical romantic movie and make sound movie-purchasing decisions next time we find ourselves at the theater.
So what the hell is this frilly flick about?
Here's what the studio is willing to tell us about the film that will make you "believe in miracles" (you know, the slogan that could be the marker of an inspirational sports movie, a documentary about babies, or this strange romantic movie):
Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “Winter’s Tale” is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil.
So, what you're saying is that it's... a story. Thanks for that, Warner Bros.
Here's what else we've uncovered about this super secret movie plot:
A MAGICAL HORSE OF COURSE
In practically every trailer and every still, Farrell is riding a white horse before being shown moping around Manhattan telling people he doesn't know who he is and apparently, the horse is not just an attempt to appeal to the tired fantasy of a handsome man riding in on a white horse. The horse is a guardian angel who can fly and it's this creature that carries Farrell from his time to modern day Manhattan. Oh good. I was worried this movie was going to actually make some sense.
A MYSTICAL LOVER, DUH
Not only is Findlay's Beverly the anchor of this movie's A Walk to Remember element — she's suffering from tuberculosis when Farrell's Peter meets her — she's magical, like the horse. She's connected to the universe and apparently, her aura or life force or soul (or whatever, really) protects Peter when he comes to modern day Manhattan. Oh! Nope. Still confused.
THE BADDEST BAD GUY IS JUST BAD, DEAL WITH IT
Russell Crowe, fresh off earning his bad guy cred in Les Miserables, plays the villain. Apparently, he's after Farrell's Peter because Peter used to be a thief in his band of thieves. He deems Peter his mortal enemy and chases him until that cool magical white horse saves him. He apparently serves no other purpose than "BAD GUY BAD. GOOD GUY GOOD." Okay, so he makes mind-numbingly simple sense.
WHAT ABOUT JENNIFER CONNOLLY?
She meets up with Peter in the modern day. She is us, if we were living in this confusing movie and forced to try to understand it when Colin Farrell's handsome tears fell down his handsome face and made us handsomely endeared to his handsome emotions. Well thank God for Jennifer Connolly, then.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THE ANSWER IS "MAGIC"
How does Beverly keep Peter safe? Magic. How does Peter escape a needlessly bloodthirsty Russell Crowe? Magic. How does anything else about this time-travelling plot make sense? Magic. Duh.
But hey, at least it's not the Lake House 2. We'll take sporadic magic over a mail box that sends letters through time any day.
Image: Warner Bros.