About Time – Love and Time Travel Go To the Movies

aboutime Fans of Love, Actually have a lot to look forward to this Friday. That is the US release date(wider release coming November 8) of the new movie by writer/director Tim Curtis titled About Time. As it says in the tag line it’s “A new funny film about love. With a bit of time travel.” And what a love story it is.

This is a gentle, frequently sentimental comedy, about Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a young man from Cornwall, who is “too thin, too tall, too orange”. He mostly bumbles his way through life and love. After a truly horrendous New Year’s Eve party, where he fails to kiss the girl standing beside him and brings her to tears, he goes to bed dejected and not wanting to face the morning. Fortunately, the dawn brings good tidings: At the age of 21 the men in his family develop a magic power – they can travel through time by entering a dark space, clenching their fists and closing their eyes. Initially, Tim is deeply skeptical but when he is able to use his new found power to fix his New Year’s Eve error he is completely sold on the concept of time travel.

Because Tim is a basically good guy he doesn’t take much advantage of his powers. He uses them to fix a blunder here and there but mostly he realizes that the magic only goes so far. For the most part it is Tim’s own charm and gentle wit that bring him to love interest Mary (Rachel McAdams) and the chemistry between them, not the use of his power, that keeps them together.

What makes the film especially sweet is that it covers every kind of love imaginable. The friendships Tim forges throughout his life with other bumbling, obtuse characters. The special relationship he shares with screw up sister Kit Kat. And most especially the deep bond he shares with his dad (Bill Nighy).

As a romance fan, I found it to be the best rom com I had seen in a long time. A large part of this is due to the sheer lovability of our leading man, a nerdy average guy who reaches through the screen and tugs at your heartstrings. Domhnall Gleeson does a great job of infusing the character with humility and sweetness. Rachel McAdams, whose beauty would normally be a detriment in such a role, downplays her looks and relies a lot on her inherent charm. It works and the character of Mary comes across as a delightful, kind girl who deserves a really great guy. Bill Nighy, who played the lovably inappropriate Billy Mack in Love Actually, gives another fantastic performance here as Tim’s much loved father.

While the film has some great laugh out loud moments it is mostly smile inducing. This fits very well with the gentle, charming story told as does the visual loveliness of the movie. The spaces can be small and cramped or slightly battered, but they exude an eye pleasing façade that make the whole movie a comfortable place to be. Even when the rain drenches everything in sight on an important day.

The film has a high schmaltz factor but for me that was a part of the delight. It was two hours of feeling good, remembering that there is real love in the world and that the most precious gift any of us can have is time with the ones we love.

While the movie is rated R and does contain some adult humor, everything here is gentle and essentially sweet.

Have you had a chance to see this yet? If not, based on the authors other works – Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral – what do you think the odds are that you will want to?

– Maggie Boyd

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20 Responses to “About Time – Love and Time Travel Go To the Movies”

  1. I am so all over this. I have to confess to being a huge fan of action pics with a heart – like the Bourne trilogy – but Richard Curtis films are special and I love them. What’s more, you can rewatch them.

  2. LeeB. says:

    I’m in!

  3. AARJenna says:

    I’m totally going to see this. There are so few true “date movies” that I will drag my husband to see, but this is one of them. Maybe we’ll double feature it with “Ender’s Game!” Thanks for the recommendation.

    • AARJenna says:

      Okay, finally I got the chance to see this movie. I absolutely loved it!! So very sweet. Domhnall Gleeson is my new boyfriend. He was utterly charming. I’m one of a small number who doesn’t think Rachel McAdams is stunningly gorgeous but rather just pretty. But she really did seem to dowdy herself up for this role. Those bangs were just awful as was her choice of frumpy dresses at the beginning. But she fit the role of Mary just perfectly.

      Anyone who expects any form of logic in the time travel aspect should probably avoid this movie because it really makes no sense in how it all works. But the love story is fantastic and I can’t wait to see this again when it comes out on DVD.

  4. Leigh says:

    How did you see this early? Do you have time travel abilities too that you forgot to mention? I saw the advertisement and knew I wanted to see it. Now with your recommendation I sure will!

    • maggie b. says:

      I’m not sure how I got selected but a theater I have a loyalty card to (and to whom in fact I am very loyal) sent me an emai for an advanced free screening so I went. I like your idea of time travel better though. Could use them right now to go back to a warm day ., . . . .

  5. Mary says:

    I love Richard Curtis films so I’ll just buy the DVD when it comes out.

  6. Sandlynn says:

    I’ll probably see it unless it gets really lousy reviews … which I don’t expect. I loved Four Weddings and a Funeral and really liked Notting Hill. I own both of them on DVD. On the other hand, I am one of the few romance fans who wasn’t taken with Love Actually. I liked Nighy’s character a great deal, but most of the other story lines fell flat for me, and oddly enough, I was a little put off by the portrayal of the US president — and this is from someone who absolutely loves political humor and is not above seeing her own party or political beliefs skewered.

    • maggie b. says:

      I liked Martin Freeman’s story in Love Actually (he dates the girl he does all those nude scenes with) and I love Nighy’s character (the scene at Christmas with the manager/agent was hilarious). I also loved the little boy (Liam Neeson’s son) and the girl he falls for. And the Kiera Knightly love triangle. That was sweet. The others didn’t work for me but I like the film because the ones above did.

  7. Kim T. says:

    I definitely want to see it. Love Actually is a brilliant film, but…I just don’t get the casting of Rachel McAdams, since she was in The Time Traveller’s Wife, which let’s face it is kind of similar, at least superficially. You have to wonder if her agent was paying attention? I love the actress (I’m one of the few to really enjoy Morning Glory, I think), but she’s really getting pigeonholed in these romantic dramas. Oh well, it’s Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy and I know I’ll love it!

  8. Maria D. says:

    I definitely want to see it and like Leigh want to know how you got to see it early???? Come one…tell me your secretz!

    Seriously though I love Rachel McAdams and this sounds like a good film. I loved Nottinghill but have to admit that I’ve never watched Love Actually, or Four Weddings and a Funeral completely….every time I start to watch them something comes up and I end up having to go do something.

  9. LeeF says:

    This sounds so sweet! I may have to spend a day in Dallas just to catch up on good movies.

    I am a Love, Actually fan- I love the awkwardness of so many of the characters (not to mention my great, great love of Liam Neeson and Colin Firth. And I do wish I could think of an adjective for Hugh Grant other than adorable. And I do want to be Emma Thompson when I grow up). Notting Hill is one of the rare chick flicks that I can get my DH to sit through (and he still laughs at the lunacy of Rhys Ifans). And for some reason Four Weddings and a Funeral cracks me up after all these years.

  10. NBLibGirl says:

    Count me in too. . . love all the films mentioned and will be making a point of seeing About Time in a theatre. I can’t see too many films in theatres any more so I try to make a point (vote with my dollars) for certain ones to let the industry know what type of films I like to see made.

    Like and rewatch all the movies mentioned above (usually when I visit my mom), Love Actually most often. My favorite part of LA, though, is the scene in the airport of real people . . . gets me every time!

  11. SusanS says:

    Without any spoilers, is there a happy or at least hopeful ending? I don’t want any Time Traveler’s Wife endings. And yes, it is odd that Rachel McAdams is in both films.

    • maggie b. says:

      Very happy ending. I preferred it very much to The Time Traveler’s Wife. Without spoilers I will say the difference lies in the attitude of the two heroes – Henry is far more selfish than Tim.

  12. Joane says:

    Have you had a chance to see this yet? Not yet.

    If not, based on the authors other works – Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral – what do you think the odds are that you will want to?

    About a hundred per cent?

  13. Karen W. says:

    I hardly ever get to the movies, but I definitely want to see this one!