At the age of 21, Tim Lake discovers he can travel in time… The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
Domhnall Gleeson : Tim
Rachel McAdams : Mary
Bill Nighy : De vader
“You can’t kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy.”
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and more mature. Or is it simply because it’s a perfect movie? I put all my money on the second guess because in the end I thought it was an amazing and captivating romantic comedy. Normally I hate movies containing the combination of romance and humor. Usually the humor is of a questionable level and it threatens to become a corny tearjerker with a predictable happy ending where everyone is happily married. Actually all of that is in this movie, but not on a grotesquely sentimental level as in other chick flicks. Like someone said on IMDb “A chick flick for men“.
Occasionally, I have to listen to my wife and select a movie which will lead to a cozy movie night she can enjoy. Instead of watching again some nerve wrecking, bloody and violent SF or thriller. With much reluctance I try to look for that kind of movie. The thing that convinced me to choose for “About time” was the SF label it got. Ultimately, the SF part is essential for the whole story, but it is not the crucial element which leaves a lingering impression. It’s just a great movie where you get sucked in from the beginning and you feel like you’re in the center of the story. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) has a gift that all men possess in his family. He can go back in time. Not to change (kill Hitler/shag Helen of Troy) world history.He only can change situations that occurred in his personal life. He wants to use that gift to find the love of his life.
It has immensely funny situations and humorous conversations. I laughed at this film more than any would-be comedy that I have seen in recent months. Those funny situations that happen are so recognizable and pure. Nothing forced, no complicated puns or fetched trivialities. The conversation in the dark restaurant run by blind people. Who comes up with something like that? Their first night in bed and the way Tim returns over and over again in time. The frustrations Tim shows while helping Mary (Rachel McAdams) to choose an evening dress. I understood him perfectly. Meeting Mary’s parents. The one-liners that passed from time to time.The awkward friends like Jay and Rory. Uncle D. who was touching in a certain way, but at the same time hilarious.
It’s also enormously romantic. God yes, you get that in a romantic comedy. But it’s that romance that also occurs infinite times in real life and not the romance you read in cheap pulp magazines. Sometimes it was brought subtle. Tim could easily use his gift to have a hot night with Charlotte. Finally he says no to that thought and runs back to Mary to ask her to marry him. A symbolic way to show that Mary is his true love. The scene with the live band was also hilarious.
The film also has its emotional moments. The relationship with his father gets gradually warmer and caring. The concerns about his sister Kit Kat. The death of his father and the special way he definitively says goodbye. Serene, catchy and stunning. The casting is perfect. Each character feels like a real individual and fits into the complete picture. Both physically and mentally. Tim is a daydreaming, sometimes awkward but sensitive guy. Domhnall Gleeson delivers a magnificent performance. I didn’t recognize him as Bill Weasley of the Potter series, and even as Clan Techie from “Dredd“. Rachel McAdams who plays Mary is a natural beauty and a charm throughout the film. Bill Nighy puts a rock-solid portrait of the father who struggles with his feelings towards his son. Lindsey Duncan has no big part in this movie, but each time she comes into the picture she has the look of a caring mother. Honestly, there wasn’t a single character that I found weak.
Finally the soundtrack is also worth to mention. Songs of The Cure, Amy Winehouse, Nick Cave and Ben Folds were a splendid contribution to the overall mood.
I’ve always liked movies. I watch movies because I want a relaxing moment. A moment to laugh or bite my nails cause of the tension Or nearly get a heart attack from scaring. Or sympathize with certain events and sometimes cry a little bit about it. Those are my reasons to watch a movie. And that I found in this movie. My advice is to just give this one a chance and let yourself be carried away on a sentimental and funny roller coaster ride of emotions.