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Film Review: About Time

Imagine if you had the ability to go back in time and change the events of your past to have a more ideal relationship. It’s an interesting idea and with Richard Curtis of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually writing and directing such a story with Rachel McAdams as the heroine seems to be a perfect date movie. Sadly the film doesn’t live up to its premise.

Domhnall Gleeson, Rachael McAdams and Richard Curtis
Domhnall Gleeson, Rachael McAdams and Richard Curtis

Starring Domhnall Gleeson (the son of Brendan Gleeson) as Tim, a dude with the time turner. About Time is a series of interesting scenarios strung together that don’t quite work along in harmony. The film plays out like tattered pages of very quirky individual ideas that don’t really gel along in a cohesive entertaining whole. All the men in Tim’s family can go back at any point in their life by clenching their fists — it’s a fun spin on the way men regret mistakes in a relationship and wish to go back in time to fix them. The thought of being able to time travel at any point and having the chance to fix anything and everything makes an interesting commentary on the frivolity of a relationship, given the lack of stakes. What’s the point of falling in love if there is no threat of losing the woman you love. Again, an interesting idea that is hardly explored.

Bill Nighy plays the dad who in an entertaining deadpan advises Tim to use the ability on the ‘important things’, and since this is a Richard Curtis film the ‘important things’ is love.

Unfortunately it’s the same old stuff from Curtis’ previous efforts where likable classy people who sometimes swear get into a muddle and eventually pull out of it and find the love of their lives.

The film is a charming time waster that’d probably make for a decent Sunday afternoon on the telly but coming from a filmmaker like Curtis, this is a second rate effort at best. That is disappointing considering he has said that this would be his last film.

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