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‘Press Play’ review: Sci-fi romance about love and the power of music

Music is healing.

Press Play tells a story that blends the power of love and song. Laura (Clara Rugaard) and Harrison (Lewis Pullman) have a picture-perfect relationship built on their love of music. After a deadly accident, Laura discovers their mixtape can transport her back in time and give her the opportunity to save the love of her life. 

Music is a powerful force that can evoke memories and feelings. Many films use their soundtracks to heighten their most powerful moments. Press Play takes things a step further by incorporating its musical tracks into the plot. It is a neat idea that serves a dual purpose. Even if the person watching is not into what they are listening to, they understand what Laura is feeling. This instantly makes things more engaging. 

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It also helps develop the characters and the relationship. Based on the songs and what they meant, the audience has an idea of the type of people Laura and Harrison are. The sickeningly sweet relationship is cute, but does nothing for character development. This is where the playlist comes in. 

So it is somewhat surprising how little of a role the music ends up playing. It is obviously very important, but considering the premise and title, it seemed like it should have been overwhelming. This does not make it a bad movie by an stretch of the imagination, but it may catch people off guard. 

This does not take away from how charismatic the couple are, however. Chemistry is an important part of any romantic tale and Rugaard and Pullman work well together. There is a genuine love and affection between the two that carries Press Play even in its most predictable moments. 

Romantic stories are never relegated to a niche audience since they are able to be so flexible. Press Play tries to appeal to people who enjoy science fiction with its enjoyable tale. It is not perfect, but it is a breezy science-fiction romance that most will enjoy.

Press Play comes to theaters, on demand, and digital on June 24


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