About Time is a wonderful film, charming, insightful, positive and magical.
Critics loved it. Alas, it’s got no violence or car chases so it didn’t make a fortune at the box office. So you’ll have to see this one when it comes out on DVD.
Tim Lake (Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brian Gleeson) lives in a sun-filled house on the coast in Cornwall with his happy family. His father, Dad (the enchanting Bill Nighy) retired early from his career as a professor so he could spend the rest of his life reading all the books he hadn’t had time to read before. Mum (Lindsay Duncan) is perfectly satisfied being Mum and does her job well.
Tim is crazy about his lovable but goofy sister, Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) and they are inseparable. Everything is fine with Tim’s life—except–one–he has to grow up and leave home and have his own life and–two–he desperately wants to have a girlfriend, a real girlfriend, one who’s beautiful and fun and happy, one who sticks around and loves him back.
Easier said than done. Girlfriends keep having their own agendas different from his. They come and they go. They break his heart. Tim is growing worried that he might never have a happy life like his Dad does.
On his 21st birthday Dad reveals an incredible secret to Tim – it seems that all the men in their family, since God knows when, have the ability to time travel. They can’t “kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy,” his father explains but they can go back in time and fix things. No magic wands or potions or Harry Potter-like props… they just go into a dark place – a closet is a good choice—and clench their fists – and travel in time where they want to go.
A great way to get a girlfriend, Tim thinks. And he’s found one he wants, effervescent Mary (Canadian born Rachel McAdams). But life, or rather the unpredictabilities of life, keep intervening in his best laid plans, so he has to make several travels through time, each one more amusing than the one before.
No one said time travel was going to be easy! But no one told him either how many times he had to work things out before he gets them right. And as he learns, “All the time traveling in the world can’t make someone love you.” To make Mary love him, he has to become the best possible, lovable man he can.
It’s all immensely entertaining, romantic, and fun–just like all the films of New Zealand-born English filmmaker Richard Curtis (Pirate Radio—my favorite movie of 2009, Love Actually, which has become the new Christmas classic, and others.) Don’t worry about the holes in logic in the time-travel thing, just enjoy the magic.
Alas, time travel doesn’t mean life has no problems, nor does it mean you can cheat death. It just means that you learn to treasure each and every moment in life, that you choose love rather than anger, so that when death does come, you know you’ve had the best possible life.