Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nicky Kentish Barnes
Writer: Richard Curtis
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy
Rating: 12A/ R
So Richard Curtis has done it again and produced another great, feel-good fantasy-rom-comedy, but this time without Hugh Grant in sight.
Meet Tim, who discovers that all the men in his family can travel back in time to points in their own timeline. Tim then decides he will use his power for one goal: getting a girlfriend. The rest of the story is slightly predictable when it comes to Curtis, just like Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, Tim falls for the all-American girl (and this one has a bizarre dress sense).
Did I enjoy this film? Yes. Did I have to suspend belief to enjoy it? Yes. About Time was genuinely very funny. The witty one-liners, the dry humour, and the occasional dash of slapstick captured British humour at its best. So comedy check. How about the romantic? Definitely check. MacAdams and Gleeson had great chemistry, which sizzled through the soppy through to the downright awkward parts of Tim and Mary’s relationship. So we’ve got a good rom-com. The fantasy? Nothing about the time-travel was explained, no real inventiveness was used with it, but once you accepted it, the plot moved along nicely.
Surprisingly the film was genuinely profound and moving. The characters were all endearing and likable, right down to pessimistic, grouchy, playwright Harry. Interesting points about life was raised, and it wasn’t just Tim and Mary’s relationship that was showcased. Bill Nighly as Tim’s father provided another dimension to the film, as we take a glimpse into a loving, albeit comical, father-son relationship.
Is it possible to be type-casted as a time-traveller’s wife? Because in the past five years Rachel MacAdams has managed to play the role twice, the first being in The Time Traveller’s Wife. Comparison is unavoidable. About Time is more quirky, profounder, and funnier, on top of having a more rounded plot, which takes a look further than the scope of one relationship. However, and this is a real sticking point with About Time, the relationship is far less realistic. Tim never tells Mary that he’s a time-traveller, and I was half-expecting a moment at the end where he tells her all the times he redone the events and they have a good giggle about it, and that never came. Truthfully, it’s a little creepy that he’s redone so much of their life together and she has no idea, no matter of his revelation at the end.
Ultimately, this was one of my favourite Curtis movies, and it has nothing to do with the lack of Hugh Grant. About Time is simply timeless (no pun intended) in themes, relationships, and humour, and as long as you take it with a pinch of salt (or sugar may be more apt here), it really is a great British film.
Overall: The only type of people who shouldn’t watch this are people who despise Richard Curtis films (unless they only hate them because they have Hugh Grant in them).