A modern girl moves to a new school and is bullied. She throws a page from her journal into a hollow tree, and a monk from medieval England receives it. They begin a correspondence through time to help each other.
If you ever get the wild inkling to combine a movie about passing notes in class with a movie about time travel, somebody has already beaten you to it. Such a movie is called A Message Through Time and it’s unlike other chronologically contorted movies where characters enter a crazy contraption and either venture into yesteryear or thrust themselves Back to the Future.
In this one, a teenage girl and a teenage boy communicate with each other, despite the fact that he’s in 16th-century England and she’s in 21st-century America. Neither travels to the other. Their pieces of paper do, however. Agusta is writing in her journal one day as she pauses in her walk home from school and, dissatisfied with one particular entry, she rips the page out and tosses it into a hollow tree. Halfway around the world, the crumpled sheet pops out of a hole in the ground near Joseph, who wonders, “What manner of parchment is this?”
Half the fun is in each trying to figure out where these notes popping out of the ground are coming from. Joseph suspects he’s dealing a sorceress of some kind, while Agusta is glad to have a penpal of any kind since her new classmates aren’t treating her very well. As they correspond, the substance of Joseph’s notes finally causes Agusta to ask him, “What year is it?” Puzzled at such an obvious question (to him), he answers “1534 anno domini.” When she tells him it’s 2015 where she is, Joseph is even more convinced that Agusta must be a witch.
Agusta assures him that she’s a Christian and that witchcraft is a no-no. Once they get that out of the way, they help each other with their problems: She needs advice on how to handle bullies while he, studying to become a monk, needs advice on how to deal with King Henry VIII. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight and a handy history book, Agusta assures him all will turn out well regarding Henry’s attempt to take over the Church of England. And Joseph’s encouragement to her shows that certain problems, and the way to deal with them, are timeless. Quality movies are timeless, too, and that’s why this one gets the Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
What’s 481 years between friends? It’s certainly not a gap that some hole-y, holy advice can’t bridge in this delightful movie.