"About Time" (2013)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Directed By: Richard Curtis
Written By: Richard Curtis
Released: November 1st, 2013
Runtime: 123 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can't change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can't shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life.
This is a really hard one to decipher. It starts off as a fairly standard-seeming romantic comedy/drama. It’s promising, good soundtrack, good narration from the always likable Domhnall Gleeson – and then all of a sudden as if out of nowhere the bombshell is bizarrely if not randomly dropped that he can time travel! What is this?
As bizarre as this came about however, it does shape the entire plot. There is something charming about the film. Maybe it’s a combination of a really sweet story, with a compilation of a fantastic cast, this film is easy to enjoy. It has its funny moments and it has its warm and touching moments, and evidently it has its bizarre moments. Knowing what you’re sitting down to, what more do you want from a movie?
I do think the time travel elements could have been expanded upon more than they were. I mean, if the while film is going to revolve around this concept, surely, we should see more of it? It happened briefly and not very excitingly. There was no imagination brought to the table when it had so much more potential. I’m not saying they ought to have brought out a fully fledge d time machine or anything as dramatic as that, but you know, give us more detail about how it all works, establish more of a backstory at the least. Not just declare ‘this is something we can do’, walk into a cupboard and walk out again. What is that? That is nothing! Come on! Where’s the magic? Where’s the wonder? Where’s the suspense?
Bill Nighy is an odd fish in my opinion. He’s a bit like Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Their performance always feel very awkward, or at least, they seem to excel at playing awkward characters. Bill Nighy follows suit. But here he’s considerably comedic in his awkwardness… I never usually laugh at his performances but I did for this one. The scene in which he tells Domhnall Gleeson’s character about their ability to time-travel made me smile for its awkwardness.
Domhnall Gleeson is a nice lead. He’s always been a very likable actor. His character here is just as likable. Rachel McAdams is never one to disappoint either. I think they work well together.
As I say this is a hard one to decipher. I didn’t enjoy it as much as other romance movies out there. I might even consider it bordering on fairly forgettable. But some people who are suckers for a cute romance will enjoy it. While others might consider it about time it’s over when the credits arrive! It’s not exactly eyes-glued-to-the-screen/bums-nailed-to-the-seats material. I wouldn’t be watching it again but it’s not necessarily a bad film.