ALL THE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH “ABOUT TIME”
With works like About Time, it’s hardly ever a chore to re-watch films.
If you had the ability to time travel, what would you use that power for? Anything is on the table. You could use it to ensure your wealth, meet certain people, get a job you’ve always wanted or for love. In About Time, the answer is very simple for Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), it’s love, the most basic but obvious choice for a guy who is so unlucky in that area. So, it’s fitting that when his father finally revealed the family secret to him on his 21st birthday, Tim would use this absurd authority to get what he’d always wanted, a girlfriend.
With works like About Time, it’s hardly ever a chore to re-watch films. The 2013 movie by writer-director Richard Curtis is absolutely endearing. Through Tim, Curtis artfully weaves in themes of family, of the importance of being present in your life, and in finding the charming parts of our everyday as we watch Tim crash and burn, multiple times, on his mission to finally get a girlfriend. Beginning with a narration from Tim about his very ordinary, boring life and those within it, About Time manages to entrance you very early on with quite a bit of warmth married with an irresistible humor on this very relatable journey.
Every character in the film is precious and so sincerely convincing, it feels as if the audience has been given the chance to snoop on the private life of a real family. In particular, Tim’s nameless dad (Bill Nighy) is such a riot, willing affection with naughty remarks and an unfaltering care that assigns his character the dream personality of any father figure, unwavering in openness, lightness and humor. Actually, most of the central characters in the movie are endowed with similarly amiable traits: Tim’s Mum (Lindsay Duncan) is hilarious, Rachel McAdams is especially attractive and accessible in her role as Mary and even Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson), Tim’s sister and his Uncle D (Richard Cordery) are likeable.
The film is marked by only a few faults: the fact that the intense burse of humor early on is waned for the heavier elements of real life, that there are random Asian references in the film which are confounding in their standing on whether they are meant to be offensive or not, and that it ends. Except for these very slight blunders every part of the viewing experience of the film is wholly memorable and affecting. Even the cringey moments in which the audience is forced to suffer second-hand embarrassment for Tim’s constant clumsiness is worth suffering through and actually, end up adding more meaning to the themes tackled in this story.
Certainly, the success of About Time was probably already insured considering Curtis’ previous feats with films like Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, or other projects like Mr. Bean. His work in all these dramas/comedies, as in About Time, is proof that comedy can hold excitement and value beyond a momentary joyous relief. In all these films, Curtis speaks to confidence, to navigating life and its struggles and the uncomfortable tragedies which are sometimes thinly examined in cinematic creations or either done too poorly or too heavily. Instead, About Time has more of a balance. It helps that the casting choice for this film was perfect, with actors who were able to complement one another so well.
Maybe Tim’s path wasn’t ideal or what you might have chosen but, he surely makes the audience invested in his success. Part of that is the diary storytelling style of the film where he gives insight into his mindset along his journey. But some of this is a result of the naturalistic representation of the people in his life even though some characters are only introduced in passing. All of these elements work to make revisiting the film so worthwhile. So, it seems that the answer to finding a sure thing to watch might just be to follow Curtis’ catalogue; he may just be the answer to always finding a good film.