‘Life’s a mixed bag, whoever you are’ – About Time (2013) Review

It’s something that I am sure everyone wishes that they could do at some point in their lives. There has got to be a point in which everyone wishes that they could go back in time and change something, fix something in their lives to make everything better but sadly it’s just not possible. Well, at least that is the case for everyone other than Tim and the men in his strange and dysfunctional family.

From the writer of many hit films including Love Actually and Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, Richard Curtis’ About Time tells the story of Tim, a shy and awkward young man who discovers that he and the other men in his family have the magical ability to travel back in time. He uses this unusual talent to try to find love, to help his troubled little sister and to navigate the trials and tribulations of his of less than ordinary life.

With a cast made up of a number of popular names including Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams and Tom Hollander, it is Domhnall Gleeson in the leading role of Tim that really steals the show and keeps the action moving along at a nice pace. He appears natural in this awkward and seemingly always at least a little bit nervous role, displaying a natural flair of comedy and making the character easily and instantly lovable. Appearing in nearly every scene, you can’t help but love Tim and root for him as he uses his time travelling powers to make the very best of his life. Rachel McAdams plays Mary, the girl that Tim sets his heart on and who fits perfectly into his odd life and unusual family whilst Lydia Wilson impresses as Tim’s troubled younger sister Kit Kat.

Bill Nighy plays Tim’s father, another easy to love character who wants what is best for his children and leads Tim through the struggles of coping with his strange power and Tom Hollander injects a wonderful sense of comedy as Harry, a playwriting friend of the family. The cleverly constructed and all together likable characters throughout make for a thoroughly film where no character feels unnecessary or out of place.

With the action moving throughout the film between London and Cornwall, you feel as if you are almost seeing the world through Tim’s eyes as he struggles to find the correct balance between the two places, between the present and the past. He wants everything to be perfect, just the way that he always dreamed it would be and has to find whether or not time travel in the way to achieve that. We see his story progress over a number of years, and we become incredibly involved in his story. The great soundtrack including songs such as ‘How Long Will I love You’, ‘Into My Arms’ and ‘Mr Brightside’ also moves the action along.

To finish, About Time takes something that everyone wants at some point in their lives, the ability to time travel and puts it into real life context showing us both the upsides and the down sides of the power. It leaves you with the question as whether it’s best to travel back in time or just to live each day as it comes.

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