About Time

WRITTEN BY: Richard Curtis
DIRECTED BY: Richard Curtis
STARRING: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson
RATING: 3.5 stars
Cher famously sang that if she could turn back time, she would "take back those words that hurt you and you'd stay". In About Time, the protagonist also has love on the mind when he discovers he can time travel. To limit the scope of the possibilities involved with time travel, the film cleverly explains that the protagonist can only go back through his own life to moments that he remembers. It is an interesting concept to explore from writer/director Richard Curtis who also wrote Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary. With a record like that, you know the film is going to be fun. But isn't it lovely when a cute romantic comedy leaves you with a beautiful message about love and life?
At the age of 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time, so he decides to make his world better by getting a girlfriend. But that task proves to be more difficult than the awkward young man first thought. Through a series of hilarious mishaps, Tim does his best to use his power for good by helping out his friends and also favouring himself, such as when he goes back in time to have sex with a woman over and over again. In another scene, he travels back in time to undo talking to a girlfriend's parents about oral sex. But the film also explores the sad and heartbreaking moments in a person's life and what Tim can and cannot do to change things.
Gleeson carries the film strongly, despite not being an A-list star. He is charming and goofy, and you are on his side the whole time. Rachel McAdams plays his girlfriend, Mary, and is her likeable self. Bill Nighy is both very funny and touching in some heartwarming father-son scenes. Meanwhile, Richard Cordery almost steals a few scenes playing the hilariously senile Uncle D. Lydia Wilson rounds out the lead cast in a pivotal role as Tim's messed up sister, Kit Kat.
About Time beautifully explores the humorous, emotional, sad and fun times in a person's life. It is one of those films you will be thinking about for some time afterwards.