Cary, NC – About Time is the latest romantic dramedy from director Richard Curtis (whose past work includes Love Actually). I must admit I have a soft spot for Curtis’ films, and About Time is no exception. While some cynics may hate how whimsical or “Hollywood” his films can be, I suspect even the most avid romantic comedy haters will succumb to the charm of this latest tale about life and love.
Odd Premise, But Great Execution
What’s interesting about About Time, is that director Curtis actually stepped out of his comfort zone a little bit. I mentioned previously how his movies can sometimes be seen as whimsical or “Hollywood”. For example, in Notting Hill ( which he wrote), a normal British chap falls for a famous Hollywood actress. With Love Actually, pretty much everyone in the movie finds love just in time for Christmas in one way or another.
I’m not knocking either movie, I genuinely like them both, but I get why people might be turned off by them. With About Time however, director Curtis takes what is easily his most outlandish and over the top plot so far, and somehow turns it into his most relatable and down to earth film to date.
The plot goes like this:
On his 21st birthday, Tim ( played by newcomer Domhall Gleeson) learns from his father that all of the men in his family have had the ability to travel back in time. All they have to do is go to a small, dark location and close their eyes. However, they can’t travel to any moment in history, rather just any past moment from their own life. It’s a rather big pill to swallow for both the character and the viewer, especially since their ability is never explained. Director Curtis is so matter of fact about it though, that one can’t help but simply go with it.
Curtis doesn’t focus on this sci-fi element too much. It’s there only to help the viewer get to know our main character, Tim, and his lifelong search for love.
Simple Tale Of Life And Love Shines
And that is where the movie really shines. Soon, Tim meets Mary, played by Rachel McAdams ( The Notebook, Mean Girls) and hit it off. What follows is a rather simple tale of life and love.
We get to see these characters through a number of years and scenarios. Moving in together, meeting parents for the first time, planning a wedding etc.
There is no big fight in the middle where the couple splits up and the audience is left wondering how they are going to make it. Instead, we are able to spend time with these characters, get to know them and when something happens, good or bad, you actually care. Tim uses his ability here and there, usually to help himself or loved ones to varying degrees of success and learns along the way the importance of living in the moment.
About Time: Give It A Chance!
About Time is a heartfelt and sincere movie with two charming leads and a confident director. Do yourself a favor and give it a chance, I think you’ll be surprised at just how good this movie is.