Movie Review: About Time (2013)

ABOUT-TIME_NZ_A3_v1.inddWriter/director Richard Curtis, famous for Love Actually, is a master of capturing great emotional details but getting lost in the big picture, so it’s no surprise that his romantic time travel dramedy About Time (B-) is a lovable mess. Despite massive tonal shifts and meandering to subplots that distract from the central plot, it is cute and thoughtful nonetheless. Domhnall Gleeson smartly plays the reluctant hero who finds out as a young man from his father (a tender and restrained Bill Nighy) that the men in their family can travel in time and alter their fates. Enter Rachel McAdams, the woman with whom Gleeson wants to get everything right; and enter entanglements and plot holes aplenty as this British Groundhog Day weaves its magic spell. The premise is far-fetched and occasionally a little creepy; and yet still the charming performers keep pace with crackling dialogue and poignant moments. The wish fulfillment angle doesn’t jive completely since there’s really no reason the protagonist needs sci-fi tricks to get the girl. But ultimately the witty banter and generally winning ensemble make it a quite watchable affair.