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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A special film
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...
Published 8 months ago by Miss S. M. Hall

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon
I didn't enjoy this one much. There's no story here, no central idea to hold it together. Awkward posh bloke meets girl.

WAVY LINE *SPOILER WARNING* /WAVYLINE

He gets girl quite early on in the story. They get married and have kids. You start to yawn. For someone so enamoured of Hollywood, I would have expected Curtis's screenplays to be doing the...
Published 1 month ago by Gerry O'D


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A special film, 21 April 2014
By 
Miss S. M. Hall "opinionated" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: About Time (Blu-ray)
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.
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177 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good, 7 Oct 2013
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
(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 the night before.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon, 4 Nov 2014
By 
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I didn't enjoy this one much. There's no story here, no central idea to hold it together. Awkward posh bloke meets girl.

WAVY LINE *SPOILER WARNING* /WAVYLINE

He gets girl quite early on in the story. They get married and have kids. You start to yawn. For someone so enamoured of Hollywood, I would have expected Curtis's screenplays to be doing the set ups and payoffs you get in mainstream Hollywood comedy. These are difficult things to do, for sure, but without them the whole exercise borders on arduous. Time travel is a mystical and beautiful idea - and Curtis seems to reduce it to a guy jumping into a cupboard and puffing his cheeks every time he makes a faux-pas. Which is often, since his part seems to have been written for a young Hugh Grant.

The first half hour or so is excellent and has some good touches - the scene in the lightless restaurant (which exists in real life) is good. The flat owned by the grumpy playwright has detailed authenticity. Grumpy Playwright is played brilliantly by Tom Hollander. But it really, badly loses its way after that. A lot of it looks like a John Lewis advert - no bad thing, cos John Lewis do great adverts. But the difference is the latter only last two minutes maximum. There is no storyline dynamic here. Some heavy themes pop up briefly - but like in Love Actually, there's no tension between them and the fun bits - it's like they're a quick reminder that life isn't all about unicorns, cupcakes and first kisses.

This should have been a three or four part (high budget) BBC or HBO mini series. This isn't meant in a pejorative way at all. Curtis hasn't made a cinema great with this one (despite a good enough premise) and needs to think about other ways to get maximum bang for his British pound.

I feel this film was also largely miscast. The two leads look too much like something from an indie comedy set in Williamsburg. Nighy is sprightly and engaging (and seems to be channeling Michael Heseltine in terms of his mad barnet) but his role is thin, and not intriguing. You also get cameos (if that's not too grand a word for these fleeting appearances) from Withnail and Uncle Monty - both of whom, unsurprisingly, light up the screen for the meagre time allotted to them. It's only in these bits that you get that unmistakeable feeling of seeing real cinema. The surrounding fluff and stutter isn't worth the effort though.

As a film, it's too long. Oddly, About Time reminded me of Bertrand Blier's 1974 work 'Les Valseuses'. I think French cinema was awash with government cash at that point, which seemed to mean there was loads of celluliod to use up but none left to craft the footage, shape and edit into a lean mean entertainment machine.

Not classic Curtis by any means, then. But it has occasional moments that are alright.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad film, but the trailer for this film was much better, 2 Aug 2014
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This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I saw the trailer film on Youtube, which got my attention. It looked so promising that I thought it was going to be the best film of the year. Brilliantly edited, the trailer promised a comedy but a thought-provoking, poignant one. My imagination ran wild with anticipation. A story involving time travel, girl-found girl-lost, father-son relationship... Could it be that the main character would be forced to choose between losing his father and a chance to meet the girl of his life?

Alas, the feature film was a let down - mainly down to the script. Wonderfully cast and shot, I think it missed an opportunity to be the best film that I wanted it to be, because it dragged on for too long. I am fine having twists and turns as it adds texture to a story, but in this film they were an unnecessary distraction. The intention may have been to show just how random the events that unfold in life can be, but it smacked of self-indulgence on the part of the script writer.

Having said this, as a fun film to spend two hours watching, you can do a lot worse than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 year old man cries with tears of joy for a Perfect film........, 22 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. M. Corfield "gudbuyer" (Cleveland, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I am a 44 year old man and never after watching a film have i had streams of tears coming from my eyes, from start to finish this was just the perfect film , without been to cliched it made a point showed you how to enjoy life and get the most out of every single day, showed you about family life and interaction and made a valued point.
If after seeing this film you dont change the way you look at the World and enjoy life more then sadly there is no hope for you......
This film is pure perfection - what more can i say.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is now my favourite film of all time, 20 April 2014
By 
misty (Guernsey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
A friend brought this round to watch and I love it so much I'm just about to order my own copy. It's one of those films that just stays with you for days afterwards. You keep thinking about certain scenes and just can't wait to watch it again.

The basic premise is that the lead character has the ability to travel back to moments in his own history in order to put things right where he's maybe made a gaffe or worse. You obviously have to suspend your disbelief on that score, but it just makes the film all the more enjoyable.

Being the nice young lad that he is, one of the first uses he puts this gift to is to help out his cantankerous landlord, which results in him not actually meeting the girl of his dreams. I'm not going to give anything else of the plot away, except to say this is a lovely gentle romantic comedy, with excellent performance by all the main characters. In particular Bill Nighy who plays the father.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: About Time (Amazon Instant Video)
Fantastic film with great soundtrack. Bill Nighy plays a great role - funny as ever. The other actors are well fitted to their roles too. If you want a bit of romance, a laugh and some thought provoking material this is the film for you.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brill film, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
what a lovely film well acted and fantastic actors in this feel good film. absolutely a must to see , it has everything fun, sad, happy, all in all a great film
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
If you like British films with a good story and life point - see it! Brilliant casting as always and the best has to be Bill Nighy
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3.0 out of 5 stars Weak storyline with shallow characters and message, 10 Nov 2014
This review is from: About Time [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The film starts off in a promising way, borrowing some funny ideas from Groundhog Day and Time Traveller's Wife. However, about halfway through it seems to take a nap and gently floats along with a couple of weaker plot lines until it fades out completely at the end.
The family are all too chirpy and two-dimensional to be in any way believable. Bill Nighy plays the louche, nonchalant character we've seen so many times, but does little else. Rachel McAdams Mary's idolisation of a supermodel makes her seem a bit shallow, especially as she supposedly reads books for a living. She becomes even less involving as she goes through motherhood until she almost leaves the story altogether.
The film's message "Live every day to the full to be truly happy" is all Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) can keep going on about for the last half hour until we say "Yes! We got that. So what else?"
A mildly entertaining film in the beginning, with fewer and fewer laughs as it progresses. It's not in the same league as Richard Curtis's earlier films and yet it too could have been made twenty years ago.
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About Time [DVD] [2013]
About Time [DVD] [2013] by Richard Curtis (DVD - 2014)
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