36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Yes, it's about time Mr. Curtis...,
This review is from: About Time [DVD]  (DVD)
Let me be clear: I do not like Richard Curtis films. Let me be clearer still: About Time is an outstanding movie. Truly, genuinely, outstanding.
The truth is I had put off seeing this one for some time; I'd seen the best-jokes-in-the-trailer plug on primetime TV. My wife badgered me for several weeks telling me how she wanted to see it - when she mentioned the C-word I quietly swore not to get involved. The pestering continued and begrudgingly I relented and off we went. I'd had a rubbish day at work, bound to get worse still if old Richard had anything to say about it. Imagine my surprise 10 minutes in. I was enjoying it. I mean, really enjoying it. Let me explain...
The plot is pretty straightforward actually: it's about a boy growing up into early adulthood, getting married, having kids, losing family. The twist - presented immediately, and without any fuss whatsoever - is that he can travel in time to any point in his life and do things again, differently if he so wishes. Cue amusing first kisses, refining his first introduction to his girlfriend's parents, and repairing family issues. I know you might be yelling spoiler alert at this point, but trust me when I say the magic of this film lies in its execution - in the beautiful scripting and attention to characterisation. It purposefully doesn't raise the issue of morality with the whole idea of correcting all the mistakes you made without consequences, but it doesn't need to - the viewer can do that themselves.
The performances are mesmerising - whilst Bill Nighy probably scoops best in show (if only because he reminds me of so many University lecturers), Rachel McAdams presents a blindingly gorgeous albeit believable love interest in a more entertaining second time-travel outing (see The Time Traveler's Wife) and Domhnall Gleeson's lead is sharp, intelligent, witty and softly comical without taking too much advice from the bumbling twerpery of Hugh Grant in just about every Hugh Grant film. The plot is a soap opera yet contagiously intriguing. The excellent use of Cornish landscape and contemporary British settings (Restaurant Dans le noir - how topical!) complete a colourful on-screen presence and add to an altogether memorable and highly emotional piece of cinema. Wipe Notting Hill forever from your brain and go see it.