It's just about that time of year when some insanely sweeter films of the year to be hitting theatres all across the country. "About Time" is unlikely father and son story that despite a rough start will end up warming the cockles of your heart.
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel back in time, but as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be very dangerous too as the wrong step can ruin your entire existence.
A truly silly premise that at first glance should just be dumb and goofy actually ended up being a truly sweet and heartfelt that was a delightful journey through the ups and downs of life and love. Richard Curtis a renowned screenwriter now only on his third trip doing double duty has assembled a truly compelling and ultimately relatable love story, not only between men and women, but between brothers and sisters and most importantly between fathers and sons that stays away from any banal rom-com tropes that would have dragged it down into obscurity. The first act of the script is a little rough as it sets everything up but once Curtis gets into the meat and potatoes of this unlikely ability that the men his family share and the impact that it has on all of their lives it evolves into something really magical. Curtis is telling a love story, not just between individuals but with the act of loving life itself. There are moments that get more than a little hokey, but it is such a beautiful and wonderfully simple message that you can't help but get wrapped up into it like a warm blanket.
Domhnall Gleeson the son of the iconic Brandon Gleeson does wonders as our unlikely hero Tim. He plays the proceedings that get occasionally goofy at times with a genuine charm that just makes him not only likable but downright loveable all at the same time. He comes across as genuine and nothing in the script backs him into any weird corners that takes away from his performance. Rachel McAdams is settling into a rather comfortable groove in a film like this playing the gorgeous yet attainable love interest and she has great chemistry on screen with Gleeson as their relationship plays easy and natural.
Bill Nighy is truly the gem of this film, as Tim's dad he is the story's rock and the one that keeps Tim grounded even when things get a little non-sensical. The film is just as much about the relationships between fathers and sons as it about romantic entanglements. Nighy has a certain sage deadpan humor to him that fits the role perfectly and he interacts with the entire ensemble with a real ease that is marvelous to watch.
On paper, "About Time" seems like just another standard rom-com but it is so much more as it delivers such a lovely message about living life to the fullest, making sure we love every minute of it and it all makes for what is easily one of the sweetest movies of the year that will charm men and women, young and old alike.
4 out of 5 stars.
"About Time" is now playing at theatres in various locations across Canada and it expands to even more screens on November 8th.