About Time (2013) is a coming of age romcom about young love that by the end of its entertaining 123 minute run time matures into something older and wiser. It’s not your typical romantic tale, though, and relies upon a time travel element to get its message across, which is to live each day to its fullest.
On his 21st birthday, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is told a secret by his father (Bill Nighy) that all of the men in his family have the ability to travel back in time, although only to those places and times that they have been before. He at first think’s its a joke but soon learns his gift is real and uses it to solve every little and large problem that comes his way. Most importantly, he uses his newfound talent to help track down and meet the most beautiful girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams), fall in love with her and start a life he hopes will be filled with joy and happiness. Unfortunately, Tim learns fairly quickly that time travel rarely work out the way you think it will.
About Time is a love story at heart, in keeping with the credentials of its director Richard Curtis, whose extensive resume includes such movies as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. In this film, the time traveling aspect is merely used as a humorous and helpful tool to relate endearing character moments in which the simplest things become the most important focus of such a powerful gift. Furthermore, there’s no exaggerated catastrophic consequences to deal with; this is all about every-day-real-life and it works unbelievably well.
Elaborating further, while this movie does actually bring up some potential dangers of messing with time, in no way could it be considered a sci-fi classic, and as Time magazine reporter Megan Gibson commented: “…sci-fi fans out there likely won’t be able to see [the film’s] charms through the gaping time-travel plot-holes”.
Getting back to the love story, you could not find a more adorable pairing than Adams and Gleeson, and the chemistry between them appears so natural and instantaneous. In fact, everyone in the movie is likeable, and relatable, and you could easily see yourself making many of the same time choices and alterations that Tim does.
The music and cinematography also capture the feel and mood of every scene beautifully, and I can remember appreciating so much more of the film because of its excellent score and camera work. Overall, I would therefore recommend About Time to anyone who enjoys romcoms, and having their hearts warmed and their funny bones thoroughly tickled. In this regard, it is a true gem, and a beautiful piece of art that captures the realism and raw power of real romance, love and affection.
I give “About time” 2 1⁄2 stars out of 4.