“All the time-travel in the world can’t make someone love you,” says Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), narrator and central character in this appealing comedy-drama. Men in his family, father (Bill Nighy) tells him, “all have the ability to travel in time – more accurately, to travel back in time.” They can fix mistakes, reliving events that, otherwise, would go badly. That’s the story’s whimsical setup.
Can Tim use his time-travel powers to woo Mary (Rachel McAdams), make the perfect proposal, save their wedding reception, and a friend’s play-writing career? See “About Time” to find out.
A first-rate cast – mostly British – is one of the many pleasures of this film. Domhnale Gleeson and Rachel McAdams star as small-talk-challenged Tim and insecure Mary who, on three separate occasions, meet for the first time, thanks to Tim’s time traveling. Will Tim ever get it right? Gleeson and McAdams make a winning couple, tentative but willing as they fall in love, meet the parents, have a family, and learn about life. Bill Nighy and Lindsay Duncan are dad and mum – he, bookish retired professor, she, life-long bohemian. We like everybody.
In well-written secondary roles the cast includes Lydia Wilson as Tim’s troubled sister, Kit Kat, Richard Cordery as absent-minded Uncle Desmond, and Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie and Joshua McGuire as writer Harry, girlfriend (maybe) Charlotte and Tim’s lawyer colleague Rory.
“About Time” is a gentle, quirky and touching comedy-drama about family, love and life. Richard Curtis wrote the script and directed. If you liked his “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994) and “Love, Actually” (2003), you’ll like this one. It’s got a light touch, clever script, lovely production design, splendid views of Cornwall, and smart performances, especially from Gleeson, McAdams and Nighy. Much of the humor is verbal, but the wedding’s weather sequence is a visual hoot. Sentimental but not sappy, wryly funny, and touching – Nighy and Gleeson’s father-son story is at the heart of the film – “About Time” will bring a tear to your eye.
Rated R for language and sex, “About Time” runs 123 minutes. It’s an adult entertainment that moved me more than any recent film, with take-away’s you’ve heard before but which remain true. “The real troubles in life will always be the things you never worried about.” “We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives.” And, “The toughest decision of my life was saying ‘yes’ to the future.” See it and enjoy.
Tim narrates “About Time,”
He’s funny, droll, lanky –
You’ll like it – bring a hanky.