about-time-posterTime travel is heavy stuff, and About Time knows this.  Instead, it is a movie about family.

Main character Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) starts off the movie at home, explaining the relationship he has with his Mum (Lindsay Duncan) and Dad (Bill Nighy) and his sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson).  We learn how they have longtime traditions, often involving the whole family, such as scheduled tea or watching movies outside (rain or shine).  Not long into the film, Dad let’s Tim in on a little secret: the males in the family can time travel.  Tim goes on to test it out and change some little things, such as kissing a girl on New Years Day.  So it is set, Tim simply wants to use time travel to find love.

When Tim leaves home to go off and become a lawyer he is ever more aware that he is yearning to be with someone.  Eventually he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and they hit it off quite well.  Except one minor detail: Tim is still getting used to time travel.  When he meets Mary again she has no idea who he is and after a series of enjoyably awkward attempts at time travel and Mary, Tim starts to get it.

During these scenes the movie does something all movies should do: create not only realistic characters but characters the audience can relate to.  Tim is clearly awkward, especially when trying to woo Mary.  During these scenes I could see myself, and it was really nice to see a main character not be a suave, dashing, ideal man.  He’s someone the majority of people can relate to, after all, he’s just a guy trying to win over a girl and be happy.  Now, Mary is kind of similar to Tim, and when they hit it off, multiple times, on similar dates (time travel and all that) it really is easy to cheer them on.  They’re just two average people looking for love.  There’s no over-the-top craziness.  There is no cheating on each other just to cause a plot point that needs to be solved.  No, this is a slow burning and really quite charming love story.

about-time

The ideal position for time travel

Again, the overarching theme is family, and this comes back as Mary meets Tim’s family.  While Mum isn’t an outspoken woman, she does say a few powerfully kind words to Mary, which further show how close Tim’s family is.  Speaking of Tim’s family, Nighy nearly steals the film as Dad.  I don’t meant to say the rest of the cast isn’t great, because they are, but Dad is the heart of family.  There’s a presence he brings to the screen even when he’s not talking, as if his character is silently saying he will always selflessly be there to help the family whenever need be.  This comes in part due to his playfulness.  Seriously, watch him play table tennis and tell me he’s not a fun guy.  When he’s serious he carries himself with calmness and honesty (as well as some clever sarcasm to lighten things up).  There’s no yelling or theatrics.  He’s simply a man who is there to care.

Over the course of the film, Tim slowly takes on the selfless nature of his father, and it’s nothing short of the most heartfelt transformation in cinema this year.  Choices have to be made as the film reaches its end, and without giving anything away, they will instantly make you incredibly happy and sad at the same time, and I think that’s fitting for a film about time travel.

So then, what is About TimeAbout Time is a magical movie about the heartfelt nature of selflessness and family.  A film which will have you fall in love with movies all over again.

Do yourself a favor and see this film now, or if you’re reading this at night, tomorrow.  I don’t use a star scale or anything, but if I did this would be a 5/5 all the way.  Isn’t it About Time you’ve seen this movie?

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