Written & Directed by: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie
The secret to making a great film is to endow it with great characters that are slightly strange, intensely interesting, somewhat silly, and immediately recognizable as people we have met or know probably exist. Then you mix those characters with a compelling story that takes us to a place we’ve not been to before yet seems oddly familiar, and top it all off with a simple moral that everyone can understand to be true.
Nobody is better at creating that mix on film than writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral). For the past 30 years or so he has been making meticulously crafted personal films that resonate with audiences in such a way as to allow us to laugh at ourselves and our foibles, to share a tear over the characters innately human journeys, and that live unforgettably long after we have left the theater. At least that’s my take on this brilliant filmmaker who chooses to give us big little films that ring more human than most. It feels like he never rushes to get a film out, never feels stressed with a deadline, and takes such care of every element that nothing is left to chance. And that goes right down to his tasty and totally relevant music scores.
“About Time” is his latest movie, and hopefully not his “self proclaimed last film.” This movie is a worthy addition to the Curtis legacy and another treat for the audience, and though it’s a wonderful romantic comedy, it seems to me to be more about the tender relationship between son and father than the film’s love stories between its men and women.
Here’s The Storyline…
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers a life changing hidden family secret. On the eve of his departure from home in Cornwall to pursue a legal career and to find love in London, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life. He tries it to mixed results, but learns he can jump time if he wants.
Once in London Tim locks eyes with winsome Mary (Rachel McAdams), he’s found the woman of his dreams. But as soon as they’ve fallen in love, an unexpected glitch in the time travel renders them complete strangers again. Now, in order to win back Mary’s heart, Tim will have to travel into the past time and again. Will he win her love or upset that whole apple-cart? Therein, lies the fun of the story.
The cast is just wonderful, seeming more an ensemble than separate parts that make up the whole. As you’d expect both Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams are standouts, if there are any, and Domhnall Gleeson will win you over with his charmingly shy performance.
My take…Go see it, and take someone special.