‘Long Story Short’ Ending & Time Cycle Explained


Hilarious, Rafe Spall finds himself trapped in a “Groundhog Day” paradox but with a twist. In Long Story Short, he repeats the same day, but the year keeps on ascending. Life in a snapshot, as one likes to call it. For anyone trapped in such a stream-loop would find himself cursed. He would try to figure out the solution to save himself. But, each year, the character Teddy is given only one minute in the timeline. Is it enough to find a cure?

Long Story Short is directed by actor/writer/ producer Josh Lawson. He plays a brief but noticeable role in the movie. The genre treats the set-up as a romantic comedy, and thus, one is obliged to enjoy the film rather than scrutinize it. Rafe Spall’s comic timing keeps you entertained.

‘Long Story Short’ Summary

On New year’s eve, Teddy (Rafe Spall) accidentally kisses Leanne (Zahra Newman). She was wearing the same dress as Teddy’s girlfriend, Becka. The confusion led to interaction. A quick montage establishes how a chance encounter brings them together. Finally, they get married.

On the first day of his marriage, Teddy finds himself a year ahead of yesterday. He wakes up on the same date, i.e., his marriage anniversary, but the year isn’t the same. Teddy finds a pregnant Leanne entering the bedroom that sends chills down his spine. Before he can figure out what’s happening, he transports into another year.

In simple words, Teddy gets trapped in a cycle of time jumps that transports him to another year, every few minutes. But what happened?

Why was Teddy trapped in a cycle of time?

Two weeks before his marriage, Teddy met a strange woman in the cemetery. She overheard him talking to his father’s grave. Teddy seemed like a nice man for the peculiar woman, but he was always in a hurry. According to her, Teddy liked to postpone things in life rather than living the moment. He didn’t really follow the concept of YOLO (you live only once). The woman wanted Teddy to live life rather than spending time. She wanted him to cherish each moment, each second, and not just float in time.

The strange woman had a gift. She was waiting to hand on the gift to another suitable person but in all these years never found one until she met Teddy. She arranged Teddy’s marriage and promised to send him the gift as a wedding present.

Initially, Teddy thought the woman was crazy. But, her unusual gift, a tin can, trapped him in cycle of time.

Significance of the Tin Can?

On his wedding day, the woman sent Teddy a wedding present, as she promised. The gift was a tin can with a tingling object inside. The present came with a note, “Do not open for Ten Years.”

The tin can can be perceived as a time machine into the future. But it was not like a conventional gadget that works on will. It was more like an automated time gadget that sends a person on a cycle of time, showing him the snippets of his future life, minute by minute.

Teddy never realized that this tin can was the root of all causes. In later life, the woman appeared again and symbolically suggested the gift she sent, “A Tin Can.” Teddy ran back home, hopeful of finding it and breaking the cycle of time.

‘Long Story Short’ Ending Explained

Looking at life minute by minute, Teddy realized that he was always in a hurry. Either he was delaying things or not paying attention to things happening around him. Teddy was so busy with a corporate job that he never paid attention to Leanne and his daughter. He didn’t even cherish the friendship he had with his lifelong friend, Sam (Ronny Chieng).

Teddy was obliged to pay attention because his life was fleeting away minute by minute. Through the years, Teddy learned that you only live once and therefore cannot afford to waste even a single minute of your life. He didn’t have to rush in life but rather enjoy the details it had to offer.

In the tenth year, Teddy met the strange woman again in the cemetery. She revealed the truth to him that she blessed him with the cycle of time. Teddy thought it was a curse, but it wasn’t. The gift didn’t change his life but just showed what his life could have been if he would be careless all the time. By the end of the conversation, she suggested the tin can, which was the solution to break the time cycle.

Teddy promised to give one element to Leanne every year on their anniversary. But all these years, he kept on forgetting the anniversary date. The curse made him live his anniversary day so many times in a day that he won’t possibly forget it again. However, the tenth element for the tenth anniversary was tin. Teddy ran back to Leanne’s house and found the tin can. He begged her to open it. Leanne found their wedding ring inside the can, which was lost in time. As soon as they kissed, the spell got broken. Minutes Later, Teddy woke up the next day of his wedding, where it all had began.

The first thing he did was to make necessary changes in his life and his outlook towards it. He called his friend Sam to regularly check with a skin doctor for signs of skin cancer, which became a cause of his death in the future. Teddy decided to hand over the gift/tin can to his ex-girlfriend, Becka, because he felt that she needed it the most after him. Why?

In one of the future timelines, Becca came to stay with Teddy. In an emotional state, she expressed that Teddy was never her first choice. She always loved her husband. If she knew things then, they would have still been together. But she figured out things too late. The whole conversation suggested that Becca needed to visit the cycle of time to make necessary amendments in her life and live a life without remorse. Teddy was actually listening to her grief and thus remembered to help her ex-girlfriend. A significant change in Teddy’s character.

Long Story Short is a 2021 sci-fi romantic comedy film written and directed by Josh Lawson.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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