Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lost Time: A Review of Peggy Sue Got Married

"If time is the ultimate object of loss and the one thing that is fundamentally irretrievable, then the time travel narrative poses something of a paradox: it plays upon our nostalgia for lost time even as it portrays time itself as infinitely controllable. But this ambivalence is undercut by the ending of Peggy Sue Got Married, in which the protagonist is sent back to the present. The return to the present reiterates the suggestion of time lost, even if Peggy Sue momentarily feels like she can manipulate it. In this sense, the film points more toward the effects of nostalgia. As Gene D. Phillips recounts, “Coppola had [director of photography] Cronenweth suffuse the movie with bright, saturated colors to give it a nostalgic glow.” But the nostalgia depicted in Peggy Sue Got Married is not the quaint or kitschy presentation we so often see in time travel films or films about the late-50s and early-60s. Instead, it is tinged with futility and regret."

Click here to read my review of Peggy Sue Got Married in Not Coming to a Theater Near You's Time Travel retrospective