Film Review: About Time (2013)

‘About Time’ is the latest British romantic comedy film to come from the creators of classics ‘Love Actually’, ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’.

Directed by Richard Curtis, the film tells the story of Tim Lake, who on his 21st birthday learns from his father that along with the rest of the men in his family, he can travel through time. Amidst initial disbelief, Tim excitedly decides to try and alter aspects of his past in order to create a better future for himself. This fuels his first attempt of time travelling to revisit his preceding New Year’s Eve party where he originally missed the opportunity to kiss a girl at midnight. Much to Tim’s surprise, the time travel works and not only is he able to prevent pesky drink spillages that had previously taken place but he ultimately changes the past by ensuring that he is mid kiss when the clock strikes.

With his new-found gift and improved confidence Tim continues with his everyday life and soon encounters what he feels is his first love with family friend Charlotte, but when time travel fails to instigate a relationship with her, he gives up on a lifelong aim of finding love, admits defeat and moves away to London. This is the obligatory plot point that brings Tim to his actual true-love-to-be Mary. In a tangle of time travelling dilemmas, Tim risks losing the memories he first has of meeting Mary to potentially strengthen their current relationship and more so her opinions of him in turn (unbeknownst to her of course). The dilemmas continue to crop up with Tim having to decide which parts of his past to jeopardise in order to improve aspects of his present and future life. The complexity of the dilemmas increase as his relationship with Mary becomes more serious, and Tim is required to make some important choices. Some of the choices affect his entire life as opposed to just his relationship with Mary and have potentially heartbreaking consequences. Most significantly, Tim’s time travelling talents lead him to eventually make the ultimate choice between his past and his present.

In what had the potential to be a confusing time travel film that loses sense of its characters like ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ and ultimately becomes unbelievable, I personally feel that ‘About Time’ is clear, consistent and tells a good story extremely well. It boasts the perfect cast with Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy at their best and presents extremely loveable, in-depth characters and relationships. The less predictable love stories of Tim and his father and sister are as equally as captivating if not more so than Tim’s romantic relationship with Mary. If you experience the film in the way that I did, you will laugh at the witty one-liners and comical situations whilst empathising at the prospect of love within each of the character’s relationships, and eventually, of course, go onto to shed tears at the heartbreaking dilemmas that Tim faces. Most significantly though, you will feel that ‘About Time’ is the most unique British rom-com you’ve seen in years and consequently one of the best!



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