Ben Sombogaart's unwieldy romantic melodrama begins with three nubile young Dutch women — Ada (Karina Smulders), Esther (Anna Drijver), and Marjorie (Elise Schaap) — meeting and flirting with handsome Frank (Waldemar Torenstra) aboard an airplane, seeking better lives as they emigrate from post-WWII Holland to New Zealand. Each of the beauties is engaged, their future husbands awaiting them in Christchurch. (Many such women made this actual trip, earning its reputation as the "bride flight.") Frank's instantly smitten with seatmate Ada — and she with him. Sombogaart contrives to place the would-be couple in front of a mirror on the plane, her in a wedding gown, him standing behind her, reflecting a life that cannot be. Time-bending crosscutting (the film spans 56 years; Rutger Hauer plays the elder Frank) confuses connections rather than enriching the narrative, and robs it of the emotional payoff that you can otherwise get only in a second viewing.
125 MINUTES | KENDALL SQUARE