Richard Curtis films tend to fall into the love it or hate it categories. So I have to be honest about how I feel. I love his films! Yes they may be cheesy at times but if I know a film is written or directed by Curtis I’m probably going to love it (The Boat that Rocked aside-although it did have a great soundtrack). So as you can imagine I was very excited about seeing About Time, but how does it fare?
About Time follows Tim (Domhall Gleeson) who finds out on his twenty-first birthday that the men in his family can travel back in time. He decides to use this new-found ability to help him get a girlfriend, which is easier said then done. However when he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) his luck looks like it’s about to change. However time travel can be a complicated matter not only for his love life but also when it comes to the tough choices he must make about his family.
What surprised me most about this film is that the trailers didn’t give away everything about the plot. Yes a lot of it is about Tim and Mary but there’s also a substantial time spent on how Tim uses his time traveling ability to affect his family and friends and what the consequences of those actions are. By focusing on how time travel affects Tim’s life in general makes for a much more effective and in fact emotional film then if it was just spent on Tim’s pursuit of Mary.
That is not to say the love story isn’t good, it is. I was expecting it to be about Tim meeting Mary over and over again but although there is a bit of that in there (as Tim accidentally erases their first meeting and has to fix it), the majority of time is spent on their actual relationship. We see Tim and Mary beyond their first meeting and honeymoon stage, we see them grow older and having to deal with grown up issues. Throughout it all they remain a sweet couple that you can imagine being friends with. McAdams and Gleeson spark off each other well and its enjoyable watching them together as a couple.
As you can imagine with a Richard Curtis film there is a great supporting cast, with Bill Nighy as Tim’s father who explains all about the family secret, Tom Hollander as Tim’s angry playwright friend Harry, and Lindsay Duncan as Tim’s brilliantly blunt mother to name a few.
About Time has some great joke and a wonderful humour throughout the film. But is also has some surprisingly emotional elements to the film and something to say about how we live life in general, living every day but perhaps not savouring the day as we should. I also have to say how amazing Gleeson is in the lead role, hilarious in the funny moments but also able to nail the serious points in the film when needed.
If you’re one of those people who hate Richard Curtis films there’s probably not much I can say to convince you to go and see About Time. However if you’re open to the idea that maybe there is more to Curtis then Love Actually and a bumbling Hugh Grant then give About Time a go, and you may find yourself surprisingly moved by this tale of one family with an amazing secret.
Rating 4/5-I laughed, I cried and I definitely recommend you see it.