When an average and clumsy young man Tim turns 21, his father tells him the big secret that every male member of the family can actually time travel by simply clenching the fists in the dark. The creator of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Notting Hill’, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, ‘Love Actually’ Richard Curtis’ time travel romantic comedy is a 2 hours beautifully shot, simple and sweet little upper-class british cliché which doesn’t require any Sci-Fi mind to see.
Richard Curtis’ cliché construction is once again. as usual, repeating the same routine of Hugh Grant with Andie MacDowell or Julia Roberts, wedding, funeral, back and forth relationship, a group of friends and a bunch of great songs. And this time he renews it all with the Harry Potter red hair Weasley twin brother Bill, Levin in ‘Anna Karenina’, actor Domhnall Gleeson and ‘The Notebook’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’ actress Rachel McAdams with, again, the wedding, the funeral, family, friends, songs, accident and babies.
The opposite of Hugh Grant, the not handsome clumsy young man, fits what’s the current and popular nerd character of today – that an average Joe also deserves a perfect love and beautiful girl to love and look up to, and it is very comforting to see the audience finding a little bit of themselves here and there in every character in this movie. And who doesn’t want to have a pair of cool parents played by Bill Nighy and Lindsay Duncan (Alice in Wonderland, Under the Tuscan Sun and the up-coming Le Week-end) ? And who doesn’t wish to have the ability to correct an embarrassing mistake?
“About Time” falls short if you love ‘Groundhog Day” or “Somewhere in Time” or any other time travel romance subject movies, and it for sure is unable to pick up Curtis‘ golden time in the 90s. But “About Time” has a little something more than his previous romantic comedies. At the age of 56 and a father of 4 children, the Australia born Curtis and his family moved to Philippines and Sweden before settling down in England. So he has experienced many opportunities to restart a new life and maybe realized something he could have done better? Maybe with his own father or a loving conversation with his daughters and sons? The father and son relationship in this film is cliché (Yes. I’m mentioning for the third time) but wonderfully touching. And the act to repair what was done wrong, and recompense from what you’ve done right, makes the message of this film somewhat buddhist.
Bill Nighy is as cool and cultivated as usual, Domhnall Gleeson is also very convincing as this average lucky Joe gaining confidence throughout the time and who can repair his lousy first sex to become an amazing love making beast. There are some glitch, awkward, moments which un-smooth the flow, but overall it’s an easy romantic film to watch for the Curtis fans with some amazing songs like Ron Sexsmith’s Gold In Them Hells, Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air and Ben Folds’ The Luckiest.