About Time features white, upper-class Brits, a wedding, a funeral and a beautiful London backdrop. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that this is a film written and directed by Richard Curtis.
Curtis has thrown in a fair few things we’ve seen before in his previous films (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, etc) and yet this rom-com somehow manages to feel fresh and original. The Time Travel concept may have something to do with that.
About Time sees Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) celebrating his 21st birthday. His father (Curtis regular Bill Nighy) decides he’s now at the right age to be told the family secret… Tim comes from a long line of male time travellers. I’m afraid this quirky comedy makes no attempt to explain how this is possible, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many time travel films in the past have tried to explain the concept, whilst raising more questions than they answered.
Tim wastes no time in trying out his new skill. Before long he’s using it to cross paths (many times) with the beautiful Mary (Rachel McAdams). By rewinding the clock and correcting his mistakes, Tim is able to transform himself into Mary’s perfect partner.
But of course, like with all films, there has to be a little drama. Our young Hugh Grant soon realises that with great power comes great responsibility.
There are many laughs to be had alongside the romance, heart wrenching moments and strong message, but I never literally laughed-out-loud. If Curtis had written in some characters as colourful as his previous creations (Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley, etc) than we could have had something more magical here than the film’s concept.
Also, I felt this film was too long. It’s much more slow-paced than time-travel flicks such as Back to the Future. Marty McFly drives his DeLorean at 88mph, whereas Tim Lake drives a Moped at 35mph.
But don’t get me wrong, this ticks all the boxes for a romantic comedy. If I’m being honest, most of my criticisms come from me comparing About Time to the writer/director’s previous work. Taking his classics out of the equation we have a film you should fall in love with.
The final 15 minutes in particular are beautiful.
Genre: Romantic comedy
Running Time: 123mins
Writer/Director: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Coulson & Tom Hollander
See it if you liked: Notting Hill & Groundhog Day [youtube id=”khB_wpn-bmc” width=”600″ height=”350″]