About Time (2013)

About Time (2013)
  • Time: 123 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Richard Curtis
  • Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy


At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time… The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again-and again-but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart. Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time for the birth of their daughter, despite a nasty traffic jam outside Abbey Road. But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too.


  • Richard Curtis, the director and writer of About Time, is a well-known screenwriter, whose most famous scripts include those for the Bridget Jones movies, for Love Actually and for Notting Hill – so you kind of know what to expect from him already: a cute and funny romantic comedy, but no Oscar bait. About Time, I think, tries to be something more than a romantic comedy, and in a way it manages to do so: it’s not only about a relationship between a man and a woman, there is also the love for family members. Unfortunately, this movie fails in creating any drama – it’s more like watching a compilation of images from someone’s life – and in this aspect it should have just sticked to the romantic comedy genre.

    Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) lives an almost ideal life with his almost perfect family: the only thing he’s missing is a girlfriend. But when his father (Bill Nighy), on Tim’s 21st birthday, reveals to him that all male members of their family can travel back in time, he decides to use this ability to find a girlfriend. He moves to London, gets a job and meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), with whom he falls in love, one evening in a cafe. He discovers that changing the course of events by going back in time has major consequences, not all of which are pleasant. Therefore, he must decide what is more important, and realise that the ability to travel back in time perhaps isn’t that much of an advantage.

    It’s impossible not to notice similarities with other movies, especially with the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but that’s a good thing. The main problem with this movie, like I already said, is the fact that there is no real story, no drama, no problems that last till the end of the movie and our heroes have to resolve. For example, after he finds Mary and gets her number, he has to go back in time to help a friend – and ends up never meeting her. This story, his searching for the girl of his dreams, could have been stretched out to last an hour and a half, but instead the issue is resolved in ten minutes, and the movie goes on for more than an hour. The main character’s sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) is the only one who has constant issues she needs to resolve, but her role is too marginal to be really relevant.

    The main problem I just explained might as well be the movie’s best quality. It is just a collection of segments from someone’s life, and almost every segment is positive, which makes it more a therapy than a movie. Most of the time, while watching About Time, you’ll find yourself laughing and feeling happy, and once you exit the theater, you’ll probably feel satisfied with the life you’re leading – which is the message of the movie. The actors, the cinematography and the music help with that: the cast is talented, the scenery beautiful (and mostly shows sunny days or calm nights). One may argue that the movie is too idealistic, that nobody leads such an awesome life in reality. My opinion is that it’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you handle it, and the characters in About Time handle it very well.

    Read more reviews at http://passpopcorn.com/

  • “About Time” is a pretty lovely movie to watch at the weekend. The movie, although is a romantic comedy, explores the relationship of a father with his son. A son searching for love… It’s not a standard romance-story, this movie is a different take on love stories. The time travel is handled very well, and you can easily see it as really happening, or just being something that helps this family cope with loss, by remembering things differently.
    Having said that, the movie gets a bit too dragged at times, and could have been shortened a bit. Some parts are really boring and it lacks real comedy. Therefore I cannot really recommend this flick, in my opinion it’s an average movie. Director Richard Curtis made some beautiful movies in the past, but this one wasn’t really my thing…

  • “You can’t kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy.”

    Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and more mature. Or is it simply because it’s a perfect movie? I put all my money on the second guess because in the end I found it an amazing and captivating romantic comedy. Normally I hate movies containing the combination of romance and humor. Usually the humor is of a questionable level and it threatens to become a corny tearjerker with a predictable happy ending where everyone is happily married. Actually all of that is in this movie, but not on a grotesquely sentimental level as in other chick flicks. Like someone said on IMDb “A chick flick for men”.

    Occasionally, I have to listen to my wife and select a movie which will lead to a cozy movie night she can enjoy. Instead of watching again some nerve wrecking, bloody and violent SF or thriller. With much reluctance I try to look for that kind of movie. The thing that convinced me to choose for “About time” was the SF label it got. Ultimately, the SF part is essential for the whole story, but it is not the crucial element which leaves a lingering impression. It’s just a great movie where you get sucked in from the beginning and you feel like you’re in the center of the story. Tim has a gift that all men possess in his family. He can go back in time. Not to change (kill Hitler/shag Helen of Troy) world history.He only can change situations that occurred in his personal life. He wants to use that gift to find the love of his life.

    It has immensely funny situations and humorous conversations. I laughed at this film more than any would-be comedy that I have seen in recent months. Those funny situations that happen are so recognizable and pure. Nothing forced, no complicated puns or fetched trivialities. The conversation in the dark restaurant run by blind people. Who comes up with something like that? Their first night in bed and the way Tim returns over and over again in time. The frustrations Tim shows while helping Mary to choose an evening dress. I understood him perfectly. Meeting Mary’s parents. The one-liners that passed from time to time.The awkward friends like Jay and Rory. Uncle D who was moving in a certain way, but at the same time hilarious.

    It’s also enormously romantic. God yes, you get that in a romantic comedy. But it’s that romance that also occurs infinite times in real life and not the romance you read in cheap pulp magazines. Sometimes it was brought subtle. Tim could easily use his gift to have a hot night with Charlotte. Finally he says no to that thought and runs back to Mary to ask her to marry him. A symbolic way to show that Mary is his true love. The scene with the live band was also hilarious.

    The film also has its emotional moments. These are the moments where the sticker “Beware of irritating objects in the eye” applies to. The relationship with his father gets gradually warmer and caring. The concerns about his sister Kit Kat. The death of his father and the special way he definitively says goodbye. Serene, catchy and stunning.

    The casting is perfect. Each character feels like a real individual and fits into the complete picture. Both physically and mentally. Tim is a daydreaming, sometimes awkward but sensitive guy. Domhnall Gleeson delivers a magnificent performance. I didn’t recognize him as Bill Weasley of the Potter series, and even as Clan Techie from Dredd. Rachel McAdams who plays Mary is a natural beauty and a charm throughout the film. Bill Nighy puts a rock-solid portrait of the father who struggles with his feelings towards his son. Lindsey Duncan has no big part in this movie, but each time she comes into the picture she has the look of a caring mother. Honestly, there wasn’t a single character that I found weak.

    Finally the soundtrack is also worth to mention. Songs of The Cure, Amy Winehouse, Nick Cave and Ben Folds were a splendid contribution to the overall mood.

    I’ve always liked movies. I watch movies because I want a relaxing moment, a moment to laugh or bite my nails cause of the tension, or nearly get a heart attack from scaring, or sympathize with certain events and sometimes cry a little bit about it. Those are my reasons to watch a movie. And that I found in this movie. My advice is to just give this one a chance and let yourself be carried away on a sentimental and funny roller coaster ride of emotions.


  • Time travel flicks sometimes give me a headache. They’re are interesting and involving but they also make you think too much. When About Time (the film I’m reviewing) ended, I was satisfied with it. At the same time though, I was re jogging many of the scenes in my mind. What began as a love story between two people eventually turned into one man’s journey through adult life. As I viewed this London based product from the director of the publicly treasured Love Actually, I couldn’t help but over analyze the concept of the main character going back into the past and even in the smallest moments, changing things when vaulting back into present day. Trust me, when you see this thing it will drive you nuts because it never quite gets that part right. Therefore, in order to enjoy what’s on screen, you have to not look too deep into the whole time travel concept. You basically have to enrapture yourself in the heartwarming vibe from the characters in it as well as the fact that it didn’t deserve an R rating (a couple of cuss words shouldn’t keep this from being a family film). You also have to believe that time travel isn’t totally necessary when it comes to living a full and happy life. Those are my rules when taking in what I believe to be one of the best films of 2013.

    Resembling a sort of tone down version (sans violence and escapist entertainment) of time travel oddities like The Butterfly Effect, Back to the Future, and to a fault, Groundhog Day, About Time chronicles a young man’s adult endeavors through the art of human transportation. The lead character being Tim Lake (played by a future Hugh Grant in Domhnall Gleeson, the son of acclaimed actor Brendan Gleeson), is told on his 21st birthday that all the men in his family, can travel back in time (it isn’t explained why this is possible but what the heck, might as well have some mystery involved). Bill Nighy, perfect in his role as Lake’s father, explains to him that all he has to do is venture into a dark space, squeeze his hands and walla, he goes to the exact moment that he imagined in his mind. For me, the centralized and loving relationship between Tim and his father, puts this thing over the top (in a good way). It sells the whole exercise formidably. Added to that, 75% of About Time, has a forwarding narration by said lead. It initially feels out of place only to emerge as a touching follicle toward wrapping things up.

    Now to be frank, I was initially put off by the fact that Tim wanted to do this to you know, just get a girl to go out with him. But as the movie unfurled, he helps people on the side (friends and his sister to name a few), builds a sort of solid foundation for a family dynamic, and (spoiler alert) says goodbye to his dying father (a couple of times actually). Let me put it this way, this movie is only a little over 2 hours long. However, there is an epicness that inhabits the proceedings and you get more than what you bargained for. I felt like I had been in the theater for over three hours but believe me, I wasn’t bored. Of note though, you might have to ignore the fact that no one ages a lick in this exercise (it spans somewhere between 7-10 years I’m thinking). It’s a minor oversight and shouldn’t keep you from enjoying it.

    Also of note is the gist of Tim’s time traveling plights becoming a little muddled when it comes to the workings of the plot. Thankfully, this is masked by a cast that delivers romcom acting of the highest order. This is especially inherit in Rachel McAdams as Mary, the object of Tim’s affections. As expected, McAdams is effortlessly charming and fancy free. Two words describe her: glowing, radiant, eye twinkling (that’s three words, oops). Along with the previously mentioned Billy Nighy, she adds leverage to the extreme likability factor embedded in About Time’s character makeup.

    When you put it all together, About Time is a great holiday film, a serviceable date movie, and even possibly something you can take the whole family to (ignore the R rating, trust me). Its breeziness is accompanied by the affable people in it. In scene after scene you sense that they deserve the utmost level of happiness. And that for me, is the reason why I recommend this motion picture so highly. If you cry easily during romantic comedies (this one is more like a dramedy) then bring a slew of handkerchiefs. To put it mildly, there is no doubt that About Time is a keeper. If you haven’t seen it, it’s “about time” you get to the multiplex stat!

    Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

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