Sunday 20 October 2013

Film Review: About Time

Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson star in About Time, a Richard Curtis-directed romantic comedy about love, life and time travel. Hankies at the ready ladies, hankies at the ready...

Bill Nighy is some kind of real-life Doctor Who. Sort of.
The premise for this quaint British comedy is simple; Domhall Gleeson plays Tim, a quietly-spoken Cornish lawyer who is luckless in love and a little bit quirky to boot. Oh, and he can travel backward in time, just like every other male member of his family.

And what would any red-blooded male use this amazing special ability for? Yep, getting a girlfriend of course!

Except, with this being time travel, things won't always go according to plan and all manner of temporal mishaps can take place.

With the intricacies of how Tim can travel in time cleverly side-stepped for fear of getting bogged down, Curtis instead focuses more on how this ability affects the life he leads and the relationships he pursues.

Watching Tim's first encounter with the cute and wonderfully-acted Mary (Rachel McAdams) once, twice and then three times is a really nice quirk that recalls 50 First Dates. The two leads share a great chemistry that comes across in every scene they lead. They also feature in one of the funniest sex scenes in a long time, as well as a whole host of hilarious sight gags.

Tim, the slightly-awkward Brit who falls head over heels and Mary, the more confident yet feminine Yank who isn't too uptight. It's a dynamic that we've seen before (in other Richard Curtis films to be exact) but it works really well here and the actors make the characters feel as fresh as ever.

In fact, that'd be where the film is strongest; the acting talent. In addition to the flawless lead duo is Bill Nighy's father figure. Nighy's eagerness is infectious and he downright steals every scene he is in. He pretty much wins the feelingfuzzier award for Best On-screen Dad of the Year.

Rachel McAdams is Mary in About Time
Likewise, Tom Hollander is great as the venomous, eccentric playwright Harry and Lydia Wilson was good as Tim's fragile little sister Kit Kat. Margot Robbie (you know, from Neighbours?) also joins the ensemble as Tim's first love, Charlotte.

As you can expect from any Richard Curtis product, the script is witty and charming, with a dash of wonderful British idiosyncrasies thrown in for good measure. However, the immense depth the film carries really surprised me. This isn't any throwaway rom-com where boy meets girl and that's the end of it. Oh no, that's just the start. About Time is more about life than love; the films overarching message of appreciating what you have and cherishing those around you isn't rammed down the audiences throats.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

A film so effortlessly charming and sweet that you can't help but smile and laugh, About Time is one of the best romantic comedies to hit cinema screens since Crazy Stupid Love. You'd have to be a very dark individual who likes kicking puppies to not have a riot with this film. The perfect date movie.


  1. Sounds like a chick flic.. ideal for the ladies

    1. Not just for ladies though! Good for everyone, so long as you can handle the sappy stuff...



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