BY LAUREN NISBET
Whether or not you connect with this movie will depend heavily on your appreciation for the subtleties of British humour and romance. If you’re like me, you’ll find it endearing, hilarious and altogether lovely.
I won’t pretend I wasn’t slightly put off by the idea of Rachel McAdams dating another time traveler (really, Rachel? A little role variety never killed anyone. If you’re going to revisit a character at least make it someone like Regina George–she was feisty), but About Time is in such a completely different realm than The Time Traveler’s Wife and is so beautifully written that she can almost be forgiven (almost).
Shortly after Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) celebrates his 21st birthday, his father (a perfectly cast Bill Nighy), a quirky retired professor, reveals that the men in his family have the peculiar ability to travel back in time to relive any moment in their lives. Don’t bother trying to wrap your brain around the space-time continuum implications of this plot device–this is not the point of the story, so just, you know, go with it. The story is really about Tim’s life–rejection, loneliness, heartache and an adorable tendency to say the wrong thing in the exact right way and do whatever he can to improve the lives of the people around him. Domhnall Gleeson is absolutely perfect in this role, and I now find myself strangely attracted to British gingers.
The main difference between British movies and American movies is that the British aren’t afraid to just let things be. The characters aren’t flashy, there are no horrible dramatic moments that make you want to scream, it’s just a lovely little story with genuine characters experiencing real love and real struggles, peppered with some witty remarks, coyly sexual humour and a beautiful overarching message. It’s not about taking the audience on a romantic thrill ride with ups and downs and will-they/won’t-theys–there’s a couple whom we root for and laugh at and fall in love with, and that’s enough.
In true Love Actually style (my other favourite movie, also from Richard Curtis, my hero), the film leaves us with a greater appreciation for the little things that make life wonderful–a message of love and gratitude, and a reminder to be inspired by the everyday occurrences that make the world such a beautiful place. Warm and fuzzy feelings all around. Call it a chick flick if you must, but I think it would be impossible to walk away from this movie without a giant grin on your face.
A media studies grad and pop culture junkie currently navigating the strange and mysterious world of corporate communications, Lauren spends most of her time buried under an ever-growing pile of TBR novels. Based in Toronto, she can be found at the local theatre every Tuesday for cheap movie night. Follow her on Twitter @laurenxnisbet