“Come With Me If You Want To Love”
Thanks to Universal Pictures, we had the chance to see ‘About Time’ before its Australian release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film, because there is no better critic than yourself!
When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his dad (Bill Nighy) tells him the big family secret: all men in their family have the ability to travel through time. There are a few rules though, such as that you can only go back in time, not forward. As Tim starts experimenting with time-travel he gradually discovers there are a few more rules he wishes his dad would have told him about straight away. When Tim moves to London to become a lawyer, he hopes to find a girlfriend. He soon runs into the charming Mary, who turns out to be the perfect match for Tim. His time travel is a welcome tool to win her over, since he can always recover from saying or doing something stupid. But it soon turns out this magic gift can also unintentionally make great things undone…
‘About Time’ is a delightfully funny, wildly romantic and shamelessly sentimental comedy from Richard Curtis, the man behind modern day classics such as ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Notting Hill’. It is once again full of his typical witty dialogue, which provides many hysterically funny moments throughout the movie. This terrific dialogue is brought to life by actors who are perfectly cast. Domhnall Gleeson, oldest son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, to date was best known for his role as Bill Weasley in both ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’-movies. Curtis made a risky move by casting this relative unknown as the lead in his new movie, but Gleeson really brings Tim to life with all his little insecurities and dry sense of humour. Rachel McAdams, who of course is no stranger to time-travel after her role in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, makes Mary absolutely charming and adorable. The two leads have great onscreen chemistry to the extent where it feels like you’re looking at a real couple. Tim and Mary are so nice and infectiously crazy about each other that you do not only want them to succeed as a couple, but you’d want to meet them in real life, or better yet even have them as your neighbours.
As usual with a Richard Curtis movie, there are plenty of colourful supporting characters as well, such as Tim’s psycho-landlord Harry (Tom Hollander) or his crazy and forgetful uncle. Up and coming Aussie actress (and rumoured umpteenth girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio) Margot Robbie also pops up in a small but important role. Of course the best supporting role is for Bill Nighy who is as dry and funny as he’s ever been – although he reveals a vulnerability we haven’t seen from him before.
After ninety minutes the story of Tim and Mary with all their ups and downs is basically finished. The movie itself however still goes on for another half hour and suddenly turns into a film about Tim and his rather annoying sister Kit Kat. And after that it becomes a movie about Tim and his father. Especially during the storyline around Tim’s sister it sort of feels like you’re watching the deleted scenes here.
Richard Curtis is almost doing a ‘Return of The King’ here, adding multiple endings to a story after it has already come full circle. Perhaps he, like Tolkien, just didn’t want to say goodbye to his loveable characters, and that is something the British playwright can be forgiven for. It is sloppy however that the strict rules of time travel that have been outlined at the start of the movie do not apply anymore towards the end of the movie. These minor flaws aside, ‘About Time’ is a heart-warming ode to love, laughter, family and everything else that makes life great.
‘About Time’ – In Cinemas 17 October 2013