Directed by Alessandro Aronadio, Netflix’s ‘Still Time’ is an Italian comedy-drama that stars Edoardo Leo, Barbara Ronchi, and Mario Sgueglia. The movie, titled ‘Era Ora’ in the original Italian, follows the story of Dante, a workaholic who somehow finds himself randomly traveling through time year by year with no control over how his life spins out. The movie talks about the importance of prioritizing a personal life over a professional one and uses the eccentric time-traveling element as a metaphor for a mid-life crisis. Dante keeps popping in and out of time linearly on his birthdays and witnesses the damage done to his life by his work-centered, fast-paced tendencies. Watching his life take unexpected and drastic turns year after year, Dante tries to find an end to his loop and save his family from slipping through his fingers. Due to the confusing and unanswered origin of Dante’s relationship with time and the overall uncertainty the plot carries with it until the end, the audience must have some questions about the movie. Here are some of them discussed. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Still Time Plot Synopsis
‘Still Time’ starts with Dante meeting Alice for the first time. At a new year’s party, Dante accidentally confuses Alice for his girlfriend and kisses her. The chance meeting, though awkward, still lights a spark between Dante and Alice, leading to them eventually being in a relationship. Alice is an artist. She’s never in a rush and enjoys the little moments in life. Her spontaneity, however, is juxtaposed with Dante’s corporate, hasty life. On Dante’s 40th birthday, Alice throws him a surprise party for when he returns from work, but Dante’s schedule is so packed he doesn’t make it back home hours later than he was supposed to. Regardless of his delay, they still have a party.
However, things take a weird turn when Dante wakes up the next day to find Alice a few months pregnant. Dante starts to realize that instead of waking up the day after his 40th birthday, he has somehow woken up a full year ahead on his 41st birthday. Unnerved and confused at the fact that he had apparently lived an entire year without remembering any of it, Dante starts to panic and takes a nap. Only to wake up on the day of his 42nd birthday next. As things progress, Dante’s time jumping happens without rhyme or reason— one minute, he is living in 2014, and then in the blink of an eye, a year passes.
As the years (hours for Dante) go by, his relationship with Alice worsens. He finds out that the two have separated and that he has started seeing his secretary from work, Francesca. Dante tries to fix things and pull his life together, but with only one day out of a year to work with— things keep falling apart even more. At the same time, though his home life keeps going downhill, his work life improves. Stuck with the consequences of decisions he doesn’t remember making, Dante watches life pass him by while attempting to make things right again.
Still Time Ending: How Does Dante Stop Traveling in Time?
The second time Dante jumps in time, he seeks out medical help. His results come back without any indication of something being wrong, and the doctor doesn’t take him seriously. Next, when Dante shares what he’s going through with his close friend, Valerio, he isn’t ridiculed instantly. Though it’s clear that Valerio doesn’t believe him completely either, he still tries to offer Dante some advice. Valerio tells him that he’s moving through life too fast because he’s always rushing. He pays too much attention to his work and not enough attention to his life outside of the office. This sentiment is reinstated constantly by different people in his life at different times, yet whenever Dante tries to fix his future, he still ends up failing.
He tries to quit his job, but before he can do it, he ends up jumping ahead to the next year, where he’s the director of the company. He tries to end things with Francesca but a minute later finds that the two have continued their relationship a year later. He wants to spend more time with his daughter, but after promising her he’ll see her again soon, he finds himself standing on the porch of her house after a year has passed. He finds out that Valerio has cancer and loses his father within what is technically a year but for him, only a few hours.
But then Dante finds out about Valerio’s recovery and finally uses the gift Valerio had given to him at the start of the story: A rollercoaster ride. Afterward, something clicks for Dante, and he decides to change the way he’s been living his life. Dante drives up to his office and all but declares that he will no longer be making his job a priority. He gets a dog and spends the entire day with his family, enjoying their company and not worrying about anything else. And then when he wakes up the next day— it actually is the next day, and not the next year.
So what did it? What broke the loop? Was the rollercoaster some mystical rite of passage that Dante had to experience before his life could go back to normal? Well no. As mentioned earlier, the movie uses Dante’s experience with time as a metaphor for his mid-life crisis. In the story, Dante is well-established to be a workaholic with not enough time to actually enjoy life. And so, that’s exactly what it takes from him to break out of his loop. It’s only when Dante stops trying to fix the past or secure a better future and instead starts living in the present that his loop breaks.
Do Dante And Alice End up Together?
Throughout the movie, Dante constantly keeps trying to hold onto Alice. As each year passes, the strain between Alice and him grows. Though Dante doesn’t remember it, he moves on with Francesca somewhere along the line, and Alice realizes her identity outside of Dante. Eventually, she finds Omar and starts a relationship with him, even going as far as to move in with him. The only thing at that point keeping Alice and Dante in each other’s orbit seems to be their daughter, Galadriel. Things seem bleak for the pair, with Alice unwilling to trust Dante again.
However, once Dante invites her and Galadriel over to his house and spends the entire day with them, Alice finally sees a change in him. Dante’s experience has taught him the importance of living in the moment— his inability to do so has been the thing that caused a cleave in their relationship in the first place. Now with it gone, things get easier between Alice and Dante. The same is perfectly symbolized by the way Dante finally accepts the fact that he needs to wait 10 seconds before he can eat a freshly made pancake. Though the movie ends without a final answer on Dante and Alice’s relationship, it’s easy to see them working things out in the end. With Dante’s time-traveling curse finally over and his need to live life on the fast lane gone— he can finally start working towards mending his relationship with Alice.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Still Time Filmed?