About Time REVIEW

About Time film review.

About Time

As you’d expect from a Richard Curtis film, it’s all a bit wet.

Release Date: 4 September 2013
12A | 123 minutes
Distributor: Universal Studios
Director: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan, Lydia Wilson

What is it with Richard Curtis and the way he remakes the same film over and over again? If you’ve seen Four Weddings or Notting Hill you’ve already seen About Time, except that instead of the bumbling and adorable Hugh Grant falling in love with an American woman, we get the bumbling and adorable Domhnall Gleeson falling in love with an American woman.

The characters are all the same, too: posh, white, fond of saying “horrid” and “etc”, representative of 0.5% of real British citizens and yet appealing to US audiences – along with the film’s idealised, iconic London and its beautiful Cornish scenery.

The twist here, however, is that Gleeson’s ordinary Tim can time travel, so he uses his powers to reshape first dates, improve rubbish sexual conquests and even change a best man speech at a wedding. It’s all hopelessly predictable, right down to the inevitable chin-wobbly plot twists, but somehow it works.

Gleeson is marvellous; the script is laugh-out-loud funny; Rachel McAdams’s Mary is delectable (if ridiculously perfect) and Bill Nighy is, well, Bill Nighy. For a film that on the surface appears to be about a guy trying to get a girl to fall in love with him, it’s really a story about fathers and sons, which supplies surprising – albeit contrived – emotional depth.

If you’ve been infuriated by Curtis’s soppy scriptwriting before, it’s probably best to stay away. If Notting Hill warmed your cockles, though, this is miles better.

Jayne Nelson twitter.com/kakapojayne

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