An interesting story about Tim who , at the age of 21 , is told by his father ( Bill Nighy ) that all the men in his family have the ability to travel back in time to change the future hopefully improving what's to come. Tim , of course , doesn't believe him until he tries and finds that he can do it. The rest of the film turns into a romantic comedy where he makes use of his new found talent to his advantage. The concept is clever in that it brings up the possibilities of infinite parallel universes that he has the ability to access but the supposition is the these existences are very similar and doesn't take account of the chance that if he is not "Time Travelling" alone another time traveller would bring in variables that would alter his preferred outcome. That aside the film was hugely enjoyable if you ignore the anomalies and just sit back and imagine what such a gift would be like.
on 21 April 2014
I'm not a Richard Curtis fan at all. I liked 4 Weddings but that was the beginning and end of my interest in foppish leading men and infeasibly attractive women locked in predictably mad situations. However, this film has remedied my Curtis lethargy, in a big way. Both the leads are lovable and likeable and just awkward enough to feel real. All the supporting cast are great, especially sister Kit Kat and Harry the writer. The story is silly - time travel of all things! But really it's just a beautiful love story, about family and life, and love. Yet it's funny and wry and clever and quick and lots of other great things.
But the absolute his best thing about this film is it's got an unashamedly big stonking heart and I loved it for that.
Will recommend and will watch again.
on 7 October 2013
(Based on a cinema viewing of the film)
So:- It's Richard Curtis: let's go through the checklist:
-The main protagonist will be a romantically inept posh British boy whose seemingly work-shy bohemian family are nonetheless inexplicably well off.
-The ultimate object of his affections will be a lovely American girl whose best friend / guardian is a rather hard and slightly trampy British girl.
-There will be a wider array of eccentric (borderline bonkers) characters.
-There will be more swearing than is ever necessary.
-All boxes ticked.
Can I be honest? I thought Four Weddings and Love Actually were just agreeable, not great, and I've always been irritated by how, in British films and Richard Curtis films in particular, swearing supposedly equals funny - so my expectations were not very high when we settled down in our seats about five minutes before the film started in the cinema - and then a group of mid to late teens trooped in and sat down in the seats in front of us, and I instinctively (and very unreasonably) assumed that this was not the sort of film which would suit them and that they would get bored and start fiddling with their mobile phones all the way through the film.
Well, I could not have been more wrong. Until the end credits rolled and the final notes of the end title music washed over us, we, they, and everyone else sat with attention riveted to the screen.
Before you continue reading, be aware that what follows contains a brief sketch of the film's premise and outlines the story set-up (but not the middle or the ending) for those who know absolutely nothing about it, but would like to know a little about it before choosing to buy it or see it.
If you don't want to know anything about it at all, stop reading now.
If you saw the trailer, you might think you have the drift of it already - as he nears adulthood, the hero (Tim) learns from Dad that all on the male side of the family can time travel back to an event within their own lifetime and take a different path to the one they originally pursued. On learning this, Tim's first thought is to undo what was, for him, an untypical act of minor cruelty committed at the New Years Eve party.
Eventually, out on a rather unusual blind date and entirely without the use of his Talent, he meets up with his soulmate, Mary, the aforementioned American... and then accidentally erases their sublimely perfect first meeting from history while using his Talent to help out an undeserving family friend (a perpetually angry, misanthropic playwright played with acidic relish by Tom Hollander). And so Tim has to try to re-boot his relationship with a girl who doesn't know she ever fell in love with him, and may never do so again.
All this is fairly standard time-travel romance stuff, and by now you'd be thinking the story was about four-fifths of the way through with just one or two more misunderstandings and time travelling fixes to sort it all out - but this film has a lot more depth to it than that, and is by turns unsettling, bittersweet, funny, poignant and at times extremely moving as Tim finds he has to make some excruciating decisions about life-changing events which will hurt one person if he interferes and another if he doesn't (if you have seen the film, you will know I am being necessarily vague here).
Tim is played affably and sensitively by Domhnall Gleeson, likeable in every scene - Mary is the lovely Rachel McAdams who, in all honesty, doesn't have to do much in this film except be her perfect self. Also featured is the undisputed master of just being himself, Bill Nighy as Tim's dad, and although the development of the relationship and the chemistry between Tim and Mary is very sweet and enjoyable to watch, it is actually almost eclipsed by the fantastic relationship Tim has with his father. Also in the mix are forgetful (but harmless) live-in Uncle Desmond (Richard Cordery), Tim's pretty, semi-feral feline sister 'Kit-Kat' (Lydia Wilson) and their sensible, 'sturdy', and still rather beautiful Mum (Lindsay Duncan). The performances of all of the players in these and other minor parts are excellent, with Lydia Wilson a stand-out (for me, anyway) as Kit-Kat.
We talked about this film all the way home, for a while before and after we went to bed, and then some more in the morning, and then some more when we went out for a drive the following day. For us, this was undoubtedly the best work that Richard Curtis has ever done. I subsequently had a look around on review sites and was very surprised to find that critical (ie, website, newspaper, media) reaction to the film had been very mixed and generally lukewarm, and perhaps that uncertain balance will also eventually be reflected in the reviews here as time goes by, but I honestly can not understand, personally, why anyone would not like this film.
Some people will argue that the time travelling aspects of the film are full of holes, that the 'rules' are stated and then subsequently ripped up several times over, but to agonise over all that is to miss the point - the time travelling aspect is just a device to power the main thrust of the film, which is to try to make you examine the way you live your own life, and perhaps to try harder to get things right the first time and consider the possible consequences of your actions for others. This is nothing which hasn't been done before, but it is handled here with a light, deft, sweet touch, and this film is an absolute pleasure to watch.
on 22 April 2015
So Richard Curtis has done it again and produced another great, feel-good fantasy-rom-comedy, but this time without Hugh Grant in sight.
Meet Tim, who discovers that all the men in his family can travel back in time to points in their own timeline. Tim then decides he will use his power for one goal: getting a girlfriend. The rest of the story is slightly predictable when it comes to Curtis, just like Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, Tim falls for the all-American girl (and this one has a bizarre dress sense).
Did I enjoy this film? Yes. Did I have to suspend belief to enjoy it? Yes. About Time was genuinely very funny. The witty one-liners, the dry humour, and the occasional dash of slapstick captured British humour at its best. So comedy check. How about the romantic? Definitely check. MacAdams and Gleeson had great chemistry, which sizzled through the soppy through to the downright awkward parts of Tim and Mary’s relationship. So we’ve got a good rom-com. The fantasy? Nothing about the time-travel was explained, no real inventiveness was used with it, but once you accepted it, the plot moved along nicely.
Surprisingly the film was genuinely profound and moving. The characters were all endearing and likable, right down to pessimistic, grouchy, playwright Harry. Interesting points about life was raised, and it wasn’t just Tim and Mary’s relationship that was showcased. Bill Nighly as Tim’s father provided another dimension to the film, as we take a glimpse into a loving, albeit comical, father-son relationship.
Is it possible to be type-casted as a time-traveller’s wife? Because in the past five years Rachel MacAdams has managed to play the role twice, the first being in The Time Traveller’s Wife. Comparison is unavoidable. About Time is more quirky, profounder, and funnier, on top of having a more rounded plot, which takes a look further than the scope of one relationship. However, and this is a real sticking point with About Time, the relationship is far less realistic. Tim never tells Mary that he’s a time-traveller, and I was half-expecting a moment at the end where he tells her all the times he redone the events and they have a good giggle about it, and that never came. Truthfully, it’s a little creepy that he’s redone so much of their life together and she has no idea, no matter of his revelation at the end.
Ultimately, this was one of my favourite Curtis movies, and it has nothing to do with the lack of Hugh Grant. About Time is simply timeless (no pun intended) in themes, relationships, and humour, and as long as you take it with a pinch of salt (or sugar may be more apt here), it really is a great British film.
Overall: The only type of people who shouldn’t watch this are people who despise Richard Curtis films (unless they only hate them because they have Hugh Grant in them).
I have to admit, I was dubious about this film before I saw it and then it surprised me. It's actually enjoyable, if a little light.
But one thing bothered me about the film: the skinny, selfish, ginger idiot! (And before anyone complains, I'm ginger, so I'm allowed to say that).
He gets given a gift of time travel and, instead of using this gift to stop awful crimes and stuff like that, what does he do? He goes looking for a girlfriend and thoroughly screws over poor Rupert in the process. You see, Rupert had met the female lead, Mary, a few days before our "hero" Tim did. And Tim, not being the type to let others enjoy their love (and let's be honest, Mary and Rupert made a lovely, happy couple), he goes back in time to beat Rupert to the punch and get the girl he's been obsessing over since he met her a few days later (yes, I know) at a blind restaurant.
So, sad ginger dude meets cutsie American in a pitch black restaurant, gets obsessed and runs back in time to find her, ruining other person's potential future bliss.
The characters are, as you may expect, rather one dimensional (but it's a Rom Com, so what do you expect?) but as it's a Working Title film it's not as bad as it could have been. And J-Lo isn't in it, so that's a blessing.
on 16 April 2014
From the beginning it feels a little too like classic Richard Curtis to the point where it felt like some ginger bloke was reading Hugh Grant's lines for him. There is an obvious similarity to the voice over of Notting Hill, maybe that's just because of his very noticeable style being read by another quaint well spoken classically English actor. Figuring I have the tone and expectation of the film all sewn up in my mind I settled down for a carbon copy of something I have seen before. Simply waiting for the big conflict to happen in relation to tampering with your own past and ripple effects blar blar blar....... Then the story surprised me a little, events didn't go the way I was expecting, arguably no great plot twists or massive shocks either, but I was back to absorbing the story rather than predicting it. What then happened towards the end was something else that I snuck up on me. The great conflict that I was waiting for was never coming because life is the conflict. But more importantly the love story with a time travelling twist I had signed up for branched another direction and moved me in ways I hadn't expected. Classic Curtis but with a little extra something.
It's an interesting story; funny that it should star the same actress who was also in The Time Traveller's Wife, yet again playing the time traveller's lady-of-interest.
I felt like this film wanted to be too many different things and ended up not doing any of them properly from start to finish. It starts off as a slighty silly, light-hearted comedy, goes on to be an epic story following a man's life from around his 21st birthday for a good decade or so, and by the end, all light-heartedness and comedy flies out the window as it gets all serious, moral-of-the-story-ish, and becomes a proper tear jerker - and I really, really dislike tear jerkers which is why I had to take off one star; and another one star off for the feeling that it seemed to go on a bit. I had to watch this in segments rather than seeing the whole thing in one go because I grew restless / impatient in parts. 3/5 sounds fair to me for the likeable characters, interesting story and for the laughs.
I can see why some people would like this.. if you don't mind tear jerker moments, slightly silly humour and have a good amount of patience - there's a good chance you may love this movie.
on 30 June 2015
I love time travel movies and I must have watched the 'Back to the Future' trilogy over 100 times. I wish that was an exaggeration. Anyway, back to this one. Rachel McAdams did a great job of being.....Rachel McAdams, and it was weird to see her in another role where her character is a time traveler's wife. The two stars I've given are for Domhnall Gleeson, who tried his best in a film with a weak script in an even weaker plot. I'm not going to give anything away, just suffice it to say, there is a MASSIVE plot hole regarding the logistics and potential consequences of time travel. You'd think whomever wrote the screenplay would at least research the subject first. It causes the whole film to unravel at the end and then nothing makes sense. So disappointing. If you want a film with Domhnall Gleeson, I'd recommend Charlie Brooker's 'Black Mirror' or another film altogether.
All the males in the family learn at age 21 that they are capable of time travel. Only to his life time and no future.
This is actually a pretty standard "what if" type of time travel where one correction unravels the other. And as in "Groundhog Day" we get to work on perfection. Yet is Tim is looking for love in all the wrong places? Or will he find that time travel is not all it is cracked up to be.
I do not mean to distract from the story but the scenes of the country side are beautiful. Director of Photography John Guleserian.
We get to listen to the song "How long will I Love you?" (Mike Scott)
No wait we get to listen to the song "Il Mondo" (Jimmy Fontana)
You may actually find that you like this film just the way it is and not go back to change it as we are all time travelers.
on 26 July 2015
A heart warming good movie. I was really before I saw it I was sure I was going to be in for a long night. As much as my wife likes romantic movie, she hate British movies. Suddenly the night is getting longer. It took both of us by surprise.
All the actors played their parts perfectly. Everything of the movie was done right. There were laugh out loud moments, in the normalcy of the moments. For example watching his wife choosing an outfit, and going slightly mad, we have all been there mate.
On his 21 birthday Tim is told by his father about the family secret. He has the ability to travel back in time. Just in his own lifetime, and as long as he does not make any big changes he can avoid the butterfly effect. I enjoyed this movie so much more that I thought I would. I would recommend it to anyone.