Saturday, November 16, 2013

About Time

Plot: Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) can travel back in time to anywhere in his own past and re-do it. He becomes infatuated with Mary (Rachel McAdams) and re-does their early meetings over-and-over until she falls for him, and then he re-does their first-time sex perfecting his moves. Soon they have kids, traffic accidents, and someone dies. He learns that there are some things time travel can't fix, and time travel teaches him the importance of living each day like it is your last day.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Cute and sentimental. About Time is a romance -- it is not so much of a comedy as a straight up romance where the gimmick is the boy can re-do his mistakes. There are two minor characters for comic relief, sister KitKat and Uncle D.

The time travel gimmick is not used make money or fight crime like one of the X-Men, but to explore his relationships -- generally with Mary, but sometimes with his Dad (Bill Nighy.) 

There is an overlaid message about living each day like it is your last, and this message is told using time-travel to illustrate it -- so it is less glib that it sounds here in text, but it still feels superficial. 

Rachel McAdams is cute and easy to relate with. She is what carries the movie. Domhnall Gleeson delivers his lines well, and is easy to relate to, but is not super.  Their meeting in the restaurant when they talk simultaneously is the best writing in the film, and I liked it. Most of the dialog is just serviceable. 

There are a couple of good songs including one in the subway where the musicians  are buskers. The set design is kind of interesting, and there is one party scene in the rain that is pretty great. 

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy

Written and directed by: Richard Curtis

Rating: 2.5 stars: entertaining, warm-hearted

More: Writer-director Curtis clearly wanted to make a light romance, and so he didn't explore any of the other ramifications of being able to do time travel, but seriously, only little text message to the FAA could have prevented the 9-11 terrorist attacks for example.

Even More: NPR reviewer Chris Klimek transposes this story line into a psychological thriller and imputes evil motives on Tim in his review.  I disagree with the review, because this is a plot device not a real thing.