It’s time for these actors to stop acting
Image courtesy of IMDB.com
By Kat Kaderabek
A conglomeration of every horrible romantic trope imaginable, Time is up might be the worst movie starring Bella Thorne to date. The film, originally in Italian, was also shot in English and premiered on Amazon Prime streaming services. The initial reaction to this film is complete admiration for the audacity of the filmmakers in producing this obviously copied and unoriginal bad game. Imagine this: the opening of After encounters a poorly done attempt at cinematography of Euphoria meets a condensed version of The wish. Here: Time is up.
It opens with a monologue by Thorne about particles in a vacuum, promising an epic love story about to unfold. In reality, the film’s audience sees the same romantic tropes played out over and over, with the exception of Bella Thorne and her real-life fiancé, Italian singer Ben Mascolo, who plays the lead role. It’s amazing that their actual chemistry doesn’t even manage to turn into a movie about love.
Thorne plays her part as a smart physicist named Vivien in an almost comical way. It’s not intuitive to think of her as a smart, eccentric nerd when her character exudes sexual charisma and destructive habits. Instead, Vivien dates a rock star swimmer from the school team, Steve, who goes up against a tattooed bad boy and Vivien’s future love interest, Roy, played by Mascolo. Roy is originally from Italy, but now lives in a trailer park teeming with drugs and gang members. While on training leave for a college swimming scholarship, he takes care of his little sister while his father works as a slave in the mechanic shop he owns just to make ends meet. He’s everything a perfect princess like Viven should avoid, which means she’s drawn to him like a magnet.
Even with her controlling and cheating boyfriend Steve, Vivien manages to slowly fall in love with Roy and even walks across Rome with him while their high school swim team is there to watch a swim meet. Both Roy and Steve are each other’s biggest competition on the swim team. Because every high school team competes in Rome for a swimming competition and any ordinary physics genius can fly off to surprise their boyfriend. The length the writers of this film will go to is amazing; however, they never claimed the credibility of the opening credits. It’s a romance, after all.
After finding her boyfriend cheating on her swimming coach in Rome, Vivian runs off and Roy sets off after her, only for her to be hit by an oncoming car and sent into a coma. When she wakes up, she has no memory of the incident or the day before the accident. Steve takes the opportunity to pretend nothing ever happened and the two continue to date. But soon there are cracks in Steve’s story and Vivien discovers his betrayal.
Eventually, Vivien runs to Roy, and the two, bound by unseen undying love, literally drive off into the sunset. The film’s final scene shows the two hurtling down a highway to nowhere, carefree and alive.
Bella Thorne’s acting is non-existent and cringe-worthy; she spends most of the movie pursing her lips in an attempt to make them look bigger. This results in her not moving her mouth for many of her lines which then come out muttered and inaudible. His character is also incredibly boring, and the same could be said for the other typed roles. Each character has only one personality trait. His best friend is the bad influence who’s loyal to a fault, Steve is the seemingly perfect boyfriend who strays too far from the relationship, and Roy is the hurt boy who’s just misunderstood. The romantic tropes here are boring and over the top.
Even the setting can’t make up for the lackluster plot and poor acting. Although audiences are treated to several jaw-dropping shots of Rome, much of the film feels like the director and costume department were trying to emulate HBO’s style. Euphoria but failed. Much of the film is made up of wide-angle shots of men swimming, long reels of scenery, and distracting transition pieces that mean nothing in the next scene. The production of this film was just as poor as its plot and acting.
Unfortunately, this film is unrecoverable. To give the film the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this movie was aimed at a niche audience, though it’s unclear who that audience is that would appreciate these overly dramatic and overused romantic tropes. In the end, it is not worth investing time Time is up unless you’re looking for a good grind.