Movie Title: About Time
Date Released: November 8th, 2013
Date Seen: October 23rd, 2013, advance screening
Seen with: Anna
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A surprisingly hilarious and well written romantic comedy, with an added element of time travel. The story follows Tim (Donhnall Gleeson), who after his 21st birthday is told a family secret – the men in their family have the ability to travel through time. Dad (Bill Nighy) explains the basics – you must go into a dark closet, clench your fists, and think about the moment, and you will be there. That’s all that the audience is told, but you can also then come back to the future, you don’t have to relive everything. So while you can’t travel forward past where you’ve already lived, you can essentially move around in your own life changing things. Tim uses this to meet the girl of his dreams, Mary (Rachel McAdams). They really are perfect for each other – and we watch the story of them meeting and falling in love. Unlike other romantic comedies, Tim and Mary are a very real couple. Their first date is the most realistic first date I’ve ever seen, awkward moments, real laughs, corny jokes, etc. It’s not the ideal romance that most movies or romantic comedies give us. For that, I was very glad.
The time travel aspect in the movie is alright. I like the idea of it, but some elements of how this movie made time travel – were purely to move the plot along. I won’t spoil it here, but some elements of the time travel were so unnecessary other than a plot device. You need to not get nit-picky on the time travel aspect, because that isn’t what the movie is about. The movie is about a man discovering how to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment spent with his friends and family. It does a great job of showing that.
The side characters are really the stars of the movie. Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams are great, and Tim is a very interesting character, but the side characters – wow. Uncle D is Tim’s uncle, is just a little bit slower than everyone else, and might forget who people are, but he adds a nice dimension to the family. They are always talking about how impeccably dressed he is, and while he can’t remember who people are at times or asks inappropriate yet hilarious questions, he’s always there when you need someone to talk to. Harry (Tom Hollander) and Rory (Joshua McGuire) are two of Tim’s friends who are both hilarious in their own ways. I would marry Harry in a heartbeat – he’s so depressed and angry all the time, but doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks – unless it comes to his life work, a play. It’s great. Tim has such a wide range of friends of different personalities, it makes Tim feel just like that much more of a real person you would know, rather than a character in the movie. I loved that about this movie. Everything felt so real, besides the fact that Tim could travel in time.
Definitely go see this movie, if you like romantic comedies. I’d also say go see it if you think the previews look good. The movie was definitely funnier than the trailers made it out to be, so that was a nice surprise. I’m also a person who doesn’t usually like romantic movies at all, but this one was great since it wasn’t a pure romance movie.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
The part of the time travel I felt was a plot device was the fact that you cannot go back farther than when your child was born, or else you end up with a different child. It was a very important piece to the plot that they made, but considering how the movie developed their version of time travel, it didn’t fit. Why, Tim specifically asks Dad about any kind of Butterfly Effect happening. Yes, the rest of Tim’s life was the same but having a different child is a VERY big thing. I think you’d mention it early on. I also didn’t like the fact that Tim took Kit Kat back in time. I don’t like that she could go back as well just by holding his hands. How did Tim know it would work? It makes sense that Dad and Tim could go back together, since both can time travel. But I didn’t feel Tim should have been able to take her back.
Also the movie didn’t really do a good job of explaining that you can go back in time, change a moment, and go back to exactly where you were in the present. It took me a bit to figure that out. But again, the movie is more romantic comedy than time travel, so the sci-fi freak in me shouldn’t be so nit picky.
Way better than I thought it was going to be, especially being a romance movie which normally I can’t stand. Hilarious, good plot, alright time travel, amazing characters, and a good thought to leave you with at the end.