(M) Paramount DVD/BD
What if you could go back in time to relive a moment in order to get it right? For 21-year-old TimLake, played by Harry Potter’s Domhnall Gleeson, this is his new reality.
After being told he can time travel by his father, charismatically portrayed by Bill Nighy, lawyer Tim embarks on his biggest venture yet: to make the world a better place by getting a girlfriend. Schedule a delightful meet-cute in a London street, and Gleeson finds her in the form of a beautiful American woman named Mary, played by Rachel McAdams.
Director Richard Curtis, whose previous works include Notting Hill and Love Actually, has created a laugh-out-loud and charming story in About Time. Gleeson shines in his role as the delightfully witty albeit socially-awkward Tim, while McAdams lights up the screen as the kind and perfect match for him, and their on-screen chemistry is particularly enchanting as it unfolds.
Friendships and family relationships hold strong precedent in the movie. Tim’s selflessness is never overdone, and his want to make everyone happy, even if that means sacrificing his own happiness – such as having to meet Mary all over again after an unfortunate time travelling incident – means the comedic and romantic levels of the film swallow any essence of science fiction, and time travel is deemed as a probable, not quite unrealistic, reality.
Gleeson and Nighy’s on-screen relationship is particularly convincing, as is the relationships in Tim’s family. His eccentric and dysfunctional sister, Kit Kat, played by Lydia Wilson, and his mother, played by Lindsay Duncan, round out the family of four as slightly alternative, but nonetheless caring, nurturing and accepting of what makes each other happy. This justifies their incredibly hasty inclusion of Mary as one of their own.
About Time is a highly entertaining and charming film. Time travelling scenes of Tim as a boy walking along the beach with his father, and going back in time to play ping pong in the attic, is what makes this film a touching and pleasant watch. With all its time travelling woes and misfortunes, and once you gloss over all the romance and comedic value of the film, it only wants to send one uncomplicated message to its viewers – be content with the simple and finer things in life.