Monday, March 24, 2014

About Time (2013)

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Will Merrick, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hughes

Director: Richard Curtis

Synopsis: The night after another unsatisfactory New Year’s party Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time.  Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend (Rachel McAdams).  But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere.  From Filmmaker Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral), About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4/5 Reels


About Time, in my own words, is charmingly quirky.  Richard Curtis, who brought us Notting Hill and Love Actually, wrote another wonderful film that breaks rules at every twist and turn.  As you watch this film, you will think you know what is about to happen, only to be surprised at the reveal.

The cast is wonderful in every possible way.  Specifically, Domhnall Gleeson’s portrayal of Tim is loveable, cute, and yet awkward all at the same time. He is like your nerdy little brother. To this day, I could not name a better actor to fill his character’s shoes.  Opposite of him, Rachel McAdams, plays off the adorably quirky character that is Mary, as no other actress could.  Their characters complemented each other so well, while still allowing them to be their own person.  Speaking of chemistry, Bill Nighy’s portrayal of Tim’s father could not have been more refreshing.  While Nighy may be recognizable for other films he has done, I was not deterred by his former credentials.  He reminds us all of our favorite dad, uncle, or grandfather. This bond that Tim and his father had was clear and simple from the very beginning, as both actors did not try to force it.  It was natural.  Each and every one of these characters made me wish I was a part of this family.  Even now, I miss them dearly.

However, the reason this movie did not receive a perfect rating, would have to be due to the confusing subject that is time traveling. While I did not notice it as much watching the film the first time, my second time through revealed more questions than answers.  If anything, the rules that are set up seem quite inconsistent.  The very first thing we learn about time travel, within this film, is that the men in Tim’s family are the only ones that can travel back in time.  Nevertheless, in the midst of a difficult struggle, Tim takes his sister with him back in time.  Another problem I saw was that when Tim had already gone back in time, his father took him even farther back in time, past events that could greatly affect Tim’s future.  However, everything is the same, once Tim returns.  If either of these are allowed, it was not made clear.

Still, there are some very poetic moments that were clearly taken from time travel.  For Tim, “it was always going to be about love.”  Now, several of you may not like romance, but this is different.  Every time Tim travels back in time, despite his many faulty tries to obtain a girlfriend, he always tries to fix the problem that is causing pain for the one he cares about, and to say strongly, the one he loves.  That is not always going to be a girlfriend, but at times, a friend, his sister, or even his father.  For Tim, love is not selfish. 

This film may be described as a comedy, but I would not quite put it into that genre. It has elements of romance, drama, and a little sci-fi.  Because this movie is so unpredictable, there is not one genre that can describe this film, not even a rom-com, or a dramedy.

So, take the time to watch this movie at least once.  These two hours are not filled with the predictable mumbo-jumbo storyline that one has seen a hundred times over in every other defined romance or romantic comedy.  This is a good one, and two hours I am willing to watch over and over again.

About Time is “always going to be about love” and the lessons we can take away from it as we learn to live everyday as it is for all its ups and downs.  Enjoy life, and maybe even this film, too.

By: Merri Camburn

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