Ryan Easby

Valentine’s Day Retro Review: About Time

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So it’s Valentines Day! Happy Valentines Day to you all!

To celebrate it, I watched a Richard Curtis film. But not any Richard Curtis film, oh no. Dear reader, I decided to watch About Time.

And my god, I did not regret it.

About Time is an interesting concept. One would think that everything that could be done with time-travel has already been done; the gimmick has been used so insanely often. But, as I discovered with this film, there are still fun twists that can be made with a commonly used formula.

For example, why not make the time travel a genetic disorder that allows the user to go back to any moment in history as long as he was present for it? That’s what About Time decides to do.

At its core, the film is about a man named Tim seeking love who just so happens to have the abilities that you’d imagine a god would have: he can time-travel, but by doing so he must consider the butterfly effect and the ripple that his actions may have upon the web of time.

There’s not really much I can say about this film without absolutely ruining the experience of watching it the first time if I’m quite honest, so I’d just heartily recommend bookmarking this tab for later and finding the film to watch.

Over the course of the film Tim meets the girl of his dreams and uses his powers for various hijinks and some moments that will emotionally scar you. Seriously, this film seemingly desperately wants you to cry several times throughout its runtime. Curtis somehow has this way of targeting the most human parts of his audience and it’s quite brilliant.

The cast of the film is remarkably good. Domhall Gleeson, he of Star Wars fame, stars as Tim Lake and he puts so much energy into his character, so much passion that you begin to almost believe that the character he portrays is a real person. It’s important to stress that no matter how many times the time travel gimmick is used throughout the film, it still somehow manages to feel extremely grounded and, more importantly, REAL.

Rachel McAdams stars as Mary, his love interest, and the chemistry that they have almost sizzles. Of course, you’ve got the recurring Curtis actor, Bill Nighy, who is as amazing here as he is in all of his other roles. He plays Tim’s father, James, and managed to tear my heart in two more than once.

The film also looks brilliant. It cannot be understated how good Curtis makes the film look. The scenes during the literal blind date are incredibly well done, since you’re relying purely on audio cues in order to set the scene.

It’s always special when you get a film that somehow manages to subvert most cliches of the romantic comedy genre, and this is one of those films. No matter how down I feel, this film will always, without fail, cheer me up. Definitely a hearty recommend to any romantic comedy lovers.

10/10