"And in the end I think I've learned the final lesson from my travels in time; and I've even gone one step further than my father did: The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life." Tim
As a guy, rom-Coms can cause me to groan, but I still enjoy a bit of romance. Throw in a bit of time travel and you have the potential for fun or a disaster. About Time was fun, but with a deeper purpose. If you enter a Richard Curtis film (Love Actually, Notting Hill) and expect, well, Love Actually or Bridget Jones Diary. This is the mind set I had when viewing this film. Yet, I had a completely different experience with About Time. I enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, I was entertained by Love Actually and thought the writing in Notting Hill was perfect for the genre, but About Time was a different film. It has all of the nuances and flare of a Curtis film, but with an art house feel.
Summary: A young man with the ability to time travel discovers that finding true love isn't as easy as he thought. Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21 and lonely, but eventually discovers a family secret that will change his life. Tim's father (Bill Nighy) confides in him that the men in their family can time travel. Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) in London through some awkward twists. Boy meets girl in blind restaurant, boy loses girl due to time travel, boy tries to win her back though a Kate Moss exhibit and this is just the beginning of finding out what is important in life.
Storyline: 4.5 stars
Richard Curtis can write a good tale, albeit romantic comedies, but he has an ability to write some loveable characters. It was refreshing to see two loving marriages in this film remain intact. Also, within the dysfunction of family, the reality that the family loves one another.
As with most Curtis films, the story can seem a bit disjointed. Also, with the nuance of time travel, it seems challenging to follow at times. Yet in the end, it ties off the loose ends and resolves the character development of the film.
Visual Effects: 4 stars
Cornwall and London make a lovely backdrop to this film. The train station scene of the development of the relationship of Tim and Mary was brilliant.
Direction & Acting: 3.5 stars
I enjoyed the Tim and Mary characters in the film, but it was Dad (Bill Nighy) who was the heart of the film. Good acting by Nighy. I enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson as the quirky romantic lead. You want him to win the girl, but enjoy watching him fail. Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, The Time Travelers Wife)has played this role many times, but though it pains me to say it, I preferred this character.
Visually the direction was different for Curtis, but I enjoyed the amateur manner of filming and even the disjointed storyline gave the film subtlys that made watching it appealing.
Family component: 2 stars
The downfall of the film was the unnecessary language. Richard Curtis has to add artistic nudity and suggested sex scenes. These components put into the adult film category.
God component: 2 stars
Besides the Nick Cave song, there is not mention of God. There is a brief reference to Jesus, but nothing directly referencing God. There are marriage and funeral scenes in the film, but God does not get a mention.
Overall rating: 4 stars
I went into this film with low expectations and came out at the end pleasantly surprised. I found About Time thoroughly entertaining and would recommend to mature friends. Good date movie that will make you think more deeply about the important things in life.
Review written by Russell Matthews @ Russelling Reviews