I made a promise to myself halfway through About Time that no matter what, I wouldn’t cry. Nevertheless, as lights went up on the unanimously gushy audience, I found myself scuffling for the nearest tissue.
About Time follows the life of Tim Lake (Domnhall Gleeson) after discovering his ability to travel though time and alter moments of his life. Shortly after, he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls instantly in love in the most well executed scene of the film. For then on, Tim is repeatedly forced to choose between his own happiness and happiness for his family and friends in his venture to create the best possible world for his loved ones. To reveal anything else would spoil what follows and rob the experience.
There is no doubt that director Richard Curtis’ latest British romance after Love, Actually will become essential viewing for “girls’ night in” movie marathons but thankfully, the film doesn’t appeal solely to women. In fact, the men in the audience, myself included, were visibly more affected by the film.
TV spots running at infinitum on Lifetime, would have you believe About Time is a love story between a quirky twenty something couple but Curtis decides to focus his screenplay on the relationship between the films central character, Tim, and his father (Bill Nighy). It’s the portrayal of this charming father-son relationship that moves the male audience into a chorus of held back tears camouflaged by constant sniffling.
Although the film defies its own rules of time travel for convenience, it’s difficult to be distracted when you’re completely lost in a story. About Time creates a world of eccentric characters that live the most fantastic, simple lives and forms a sentimental bond between audiences through the smallest of moments. Curtis is the king of romanticizing little moments of life in his films’ and executes them with incredible grace. I’m practically begging for rain at my wedding, now and you will be, too once the credits roll. In a season of heavy handed dramas all vying for awards consideration, About Time is a delightful break and a great romantic film sure to outlive its mixed critical reception.
About Time opens at the Downer Theatre in Milwaukee on November 8th. Bring tissues.