About Time is a 2013 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Richard Curtis. Other-wise he is also known for his directorial work for Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. The film is notably for bring elements of various other films dealing with time-travel such as The Girl Who Leaped Through Time, Groundhog Day, and Source Code. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, the film was first released in the United Kingdom.
About Time received mostly positive reviews from critics, and did very well at the box-office, making over seven-times its production budget.
I can’t really say that I was jumping up and down with anticipation about this film, but I will say that I was actually interested. Rachel McAdams is a charming actress who assisted in making The Lucky Ones more than a mediocre film because of her likeability. Other-wise, some of the reviews and recommendations for it to me have been very positive. At the very least, I was hoping for a light-heart, and charming film, which About Time succeeds in achieving.
The film follows a young man named Tim Lake that discovers from his father that he has the ability to go back in-time to different parts of his life. His father discourages him about using the ability to find wealth or fame, and so, Tim decides he’ll use the ability to improve his love-life. Cue Mary, played by Rachel McAdams, and we have the film. Besides their relationship, the film also offers a unique perspective about life, as well as the troubles that come along with his abilities.
I’ll start off by saying that one of the biggest criticisms that everybody seems to have about this film is an accurate one. That is, they didn’t flush out the time-traveling concept nearly enough to make a coherent narrative. They introduce all of these problems and conflicts regarding his abilities, and yet they seem to completely disregard them when there’s a chance at sentiment. They didn’t take nearly enough time explaining it, and it feels like the concept feels absolutely needless except for the conclusion.
The idea of itself, as well as the themes could have actually worked, but they needed to be tightened to keep from collapsing on themselves. The conclusion would have been so much more touching if it weren’t for the structuring itself.
I don’t believe all you can offer about this film is criticisms, however. Instead, the film is absolutely carried through the charming chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson. They both have quick-fire wit and likeability that makes this film immensely entertaining. In-fact, it almost makes me wish they would have completely disregarding all of the time-travel elements and simply have made a romantic-comedy between the two.
After all, the elements done with time-travel are kept afloat through the acting, but should other-wise be dismissed with a ‘been there, don’t that” feeling. While the film ultimately manages to work at conveying its emotion, there is also denying that there’s a certainly some moments where the sentiments are a little excessive. The chemistry between the couple is immense, but like a lot of romantic comedies, they look for every chance to pull on the heart-string of the viewer.
Sometimes it actually does work, however. And for when those moments happened, I felt a warmness and loving charm from the film itself, offering a reflective and optimistic look about life.
In conclusion, About Time definitely isn’t flawless with the storyline. This film would have achieved greatness had they spent more time flushing out and elaborating on exactly what they wanted to do with the premise. Even still, the film has two terrific leads that practically carry the film. As well as cast members that are able to hold their own. If you are willing to offer suspension of disbelief, this film will be willing to offer a heartwarming tale.
Thanks for reading…