By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Written and directed by Richard Curtis, who previously helmed Love Actually and Pirate Radio, About Time is a time traveling movie in the guise of a romantic comedy. Actually, let me re-label that genre, because I feel it would be unfair to Curtis to dismiss his sweet, heartfelt, and imaginative film as a mere romantic comedy. Actually, the rom-com stuff only makes up part of the story, as Curtis goes for a film that really is a life story. Curtis poses the question, what if people have the powers to correct mistakes, mishaps, and disasters of the past? Granted, that premise is not a completely original one, but Curtis does present a fresh perspective of all of life’s moments–the good times and the sad times.
On his 21st birthday, Tim (Domhnal Gleeson) receives some astoundingly unbelievable news from his father (Bill Nighy). Tim’s dad reveals that the men in their family have the ability to time travel. In the beginning Tim uses this power to help him rectify mistakes and missed opportunities. He then begins to time travel to help his family, friends, and loved ones solve problems that make their lives miserable. When a chance meeting with an adorable and quirky American woman named Mary (Rachel McAddams falls through, Tim uses his powers to make sure that any future meetings go perfectly. As with all powers, consequences and responsibility come with this magical ability and Tim soon discovers that changes in the past can have major effects on future events.
Richard Curtis has made yet another sweet, enchanting, and sentimental tale with humor that is wonderfully written and just as wonderfully performed by the cast. Gleeson, Nighy, and McAddams are all absolutely delightful in their roles. The movie also stars Lindsay Duncan as Tim’s mother, Richard Cordery as Uncle D, and Lydia Wilson in a breakthrough performance as Tim’s unique and unconventional sister Kit Kat.
The superb comic writing, the masterful direction, and top notch performances make About Time a great film, but some issues and holes in the story’s “science” and logic do raise a few questions which distracted me a tad. About Time is rated R, therefore, not appropriate for all ages, but the movie would make a fine film for the adults in families to enjoy together. I do also recommend the movie as a great date film that all genders should enjoy.