Main Features No 71
Reviewing About Time (2013)
An Original Tale about Time Travelling, True Love and the Importance of Family.
About Time Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Rachel McAdams Movie HD, Movieclips Trailers, http://www.youtube.com
If you played “Chuck, Rent or Keep” for Rachel McAdams time travelling movies. I’d chuck Midnight in Paris (2011) with her time traveller fiancé Owen Wilson. It may be a fantastic, original, Woody Allen film, but I keep expecting co-star Michael Sheen to go full tilt Tony Blair in his scenes with Rachel. I’d rent The Time Travellers Wife (2009) – which I haven’t seen (shock! horror!) – as has the presence of the lovely voiced Time Traveller, Eric Bana who has a voice as smooth as chocolate. But without doubt this film, About Time (2013) is the keeper, for at least three reasons.. the almost giddy chemistry between McAdams and Donmhall Gleeson, Tom Hollander’s portrayal of the character Harry and the wonderful actor, Bill Nighy.
About Time is part narrated from the start by Gleeson as Tim. Tim introduces us to his close-knit but crazy family, his mother (Lindsay Duncan), his father (Bill Nighy) and his free-spirited sister, Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson). And his forgetful Uncle (Richard Cordery). He tells us of their life and their almost too idyllic life in Cornwall, living in a house next to the sea. However Tim’s life changes one New Years Day after a New Year’s Eve party where after a wee boogie, he misses a snog with his hopeful dance partner. On the New Years Day, his father sits him down to tell him that as his son, he’s inherited a gene from him which allows him to time travel. With Nighy acting in his own much-loved, eccentric uncle persona – but in this case father’s – way. It hard to know if it’s him improvising or it’s the script.. But on research, its damned good writing from Richard Curtis, who worked with Nighy 3 times before this. Anyway his father adds all his male ancestors have time travelled before him, and that his father can too. However he can only travel to places and times he’s been before.
Believing his dad to be joking with him – and tbh who can blame him after this crazy explanation – he follows his father’s instructions for time travel – of going to a dark place, clenching his fists and wishing for a certain time and place – and hey presto! He’s back at the party, so he snogs his dance partner, then returns to his father. He decides after some fatherly advice to use his new-found talents to find true love. It comes, that summer with Kit Kat’s friend staying in the shape of Charlotte (Margot Robbie). However after he makes a pass at her on her last night she rebuffs him saying things might have been different if he’d tried earlier.. He tries, with the help of a wee bit of time travelling, but no luck… now she’s saying the opposite! Tim then accepts Charlotte wasn’t meant to be…
After the summer Tim moves to London, moving in with a friend of his father’s Harry, a jaded, bitter and permanently cynical playwright. Think of Harry as similar to Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest (1999) or Die Hard (1988) to get an idea. Tim then goes out with friend Jay who visits him and the two go to a “Dans le Noir” restaurant. This means that they dine with their dates in the dark, so they can’t see who they are dining with until after the meal. Their dates are Joanna (Vanessa Kirby) and Mary (Rachel McAdams). Mary and Tim hit it off, and afterwards he meets her outside and they both are smitten, however he goes home jubilant to find that Harry’s opening night was a failure, Without thinking he goes back in time – and I scream at the telly – while he made sure Harry’s night goes well, he then finds out he’s not got Mary’s number on his phone. Turns out he had been helping out Harry – instead of meeting her – so his life changed. Luckily our hero remembers Mary likes Kate Moss so he camps out at an exhibition devoted to Moss in the hope of meeting her…Then after a great wee montage he spots her…
So does Tim get the girl this time or does something completely different happen… I will tell you this is not the last we will see of all of the characters mentioned previously. Also as Tim’s true love story is told, the story adds a further storyline where we see much more of his relationship with his family, in particular his father. There is of course more time travelling with and without a few more twists too. So what else can I tell you. The montages are original and the soundtrack apt and chosen well, it often is played alongside an appearance from those singing it. An excellent example, is a montage set at the station which has the soundtrack sung by the band masquerading as buskers.
Gleeson is excellent in his role, and McAdams is perfect and a joy to watch. She makes her character fun, supportive and likeable, and her on-screen chemistry with all the actors is delightfully enchanting. She is so believable in this role, much more than her character in Moonlight in Paris and Mean Girls (2004). Her on-screen scenes with Gleeson almost feel like you are watching a couple on reality TV without them knowing. They are relaxed and have rapport, their lines bounce back and forth so animatedly you could almost see it as the more successful ping-pong matches Tim plays with his father. Gleeson’s scenes with Nighy and the rest of the cast are equally delightful. It is hard to decide who steals the show more as each character is portrayed beautifully and the storylines told well. About Time has been compared to Groundhog Day (1993), which I feel unjust as it is Tim’s choice to return to specific places in time. In Groundhog Day Bill Murray’s character has no such choice.
So Rachel McAdams is to time travelling films, what Matt Damon is to being rescued.. In three of her movies – as mentioned previously . she falls in love with a man, not just any man but a time travelling one. In three of Damon’s films he needs rescued The Martian (2015), Interstellar (2014) and Saving Private Ryan (2014). So if this acting duo got together on-screen, we’d have a time travelling Damon needing rescued by his loved up wife…who judging from her portrayal of a loving, supportive girl in this movie Rachel McAdams has proved with this timely performance.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦/10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Hulk Rating: /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes, International Trailer
About Time – International Trailer, Universal Pictures UK, http://www.youtube.com
Blogathons Joined 2017, No 2
The O Canada Blogathon
This film was reviewed for the O Canada! Blogathon run by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy. Other reviews on this site with this cast include Starter for 10 (Lindsay Duncan) and Gleeson stars in Star Wars VII The Force Awakens (2015) and Ex Machina (2015)