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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Somewhere In Time
Richard never went back in time.
Richard was simply driven crazy by his mad desire to have Elise, eventually becoming delusional. This explains why their romance was so ideal even though they barely knew each other. Robinson was a manifestation of Richard's subconscious which "knew" he couldn't really get Elise. Of course, Robinson failed and Richard had sex with Elise, causing him to snap out of it.
  • The penny in his pocket snapped him back to reality, which gives some credibility to your theory. Had he really been back in time, what could a penny do to snap him back to the present?
    • Well, you'd have to explain how you'd found a penny with a date 70 years in the future in the first place, and wonder where you had found it, and where it came from, and why it was dated that way, and... eventually the reasoning would finally break down.

The Social NetworkWMG/FILMSong of the South

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