The Present review – lively family time-loop comedy that doesn’t patronise

<span>Rewind… Easton Rocket Sweda (Taylor) in The Present.</span><span>Photograph: Jack Zeman</span>
Rewind… Easton Rocket Sweda (Taylor) in The Present.Photograph: Jack Zeman

At a family dinner, Jen (Isla Fisher) and Eric (Greg Kinnear) are planning to tell their three children, Emma (Shay Rudolph), Max (Mason Shea Joyce) and Taylor (Easton Rocket Sweda), that they are separating and that Eric will be moving out. So Jen is understandably narked when Eric takes delivery of a broken freestanding clock, inherited from his late grandfather. She shoves it in the basement, where 11-year-old Taylor (Easton Rocket Sweda), who is non-verbal and neurodiverse, spends most of his time gaming. The announcement goes ahead as planned. But then something weird happens – the day rewinds to the morning. Taylor, it turns out, fixed the clock and discovered its secret: it can replay time. This day has repeated 20 times already, as Taylor attempts to engineer events so his parents stay together.

Elevated by Jay Martel’s high-concept screenplay, which refuses to talk down to its audience, The Present is a peppy family adventure that delivers a formally adventurous structure and a recurring dog poo gag. Something for everyone then.

  • In UK and Irish cinemas now