About Time (2013).
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Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, and Lydia Wilson.
Directed by Richard Curtis.
yet another time traveler. However, after I watched, I realized my first impression of the film was actually quite wrong.
The film isn't really centered all that much on the romance between adorably dorky Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) and bookish Mary (Rachel McAdams). Instead, it's a coming of age story about Tim's journey from a 21-year-old man-boy who lives with his parents into a fully formed adult. Lucky for him, he has the added bonus of being able to travel back in time and (maybe) fix his mistakes... or cause new ones.
About Time begins on Tim's 21st birthday, when his dad (played by the ever awesome Bill Nighy) breaks the news to Tim that all the men in their family can travel back in time. The way they accomplish time travel is incredibly geeky and low-tech!: just go into a dark place (like cupboard) and ball your hands in fist and concentrate and voila. They can travel back in time, but not the future. Also, going back in time can have consequences for the future. Tim decides to use his new-found power for world peace... Just kidding, he decides to use it to get a girlfriend.
His first prospect is his sister's pretty friend Charlotte (the near-ubiquitous Margot Robbie), who comes to stay with their family over the summer. However, Tim quickly learns that no amount of time travel can win her heart. He has much better success with Mary, who he meets on a literal blind date. Unfortunately for him, he accidentally mucks up the relationship by traveling back in time before he met her. But thankfully the movie doesn't dwell too much on his attempts to win her back. In fact their relationship is refreshingly devoid of rom-com cliques, and they instead pretty much act like two adults who love and respect for each other.
Tim's relationships with his family are also central to this movie's plot. Tim's sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) starts out a bit flighty, but winds up having some serious problems as an adult. Tim naturally wants to help his sister out, and even attempts to use time travel, but discovers that "fixing" his sister's problem can't happen without complications. One of my favorite relationships in the movie is between Tim and his dad. Tim's dad is his mentor and confidant, and they have a very close father-son relationship that includes some serious ping-pong matches. Gleeson and Nighy have great chemistry together. And their relationship is key to one of the toughest decisions Tim has to make in the film.
About Time is a delightful movie about family, love, and the tough decisions one has to make growing up. It's a funny film throughout, though parts of it are quite touching, and the ending totally made me cry (I'm not proud). Highly recommend for fans of Bill Nighy or Richard Curtis's debut Love Actually. Also the soundtrack is pretty incredible, including essential tracks from Nick Cave and Arvo Pärt.