More rom-com? Of course, because the Sunday after Valentine’s Day is when the real romance happens.
They had me hooked at “From the Creator of Love Actually,” but I still had to be cautious ahead of viewing About Time, careful not to expect great things after Rachel McAdams disappointed in The Vow. Originally, I had been intrigued by Richard Curtis’ movie, pulled in by Bill Nighy’s wackiness as well as my faith in McAdams, dwindling but still lingering from The Notebook. To my dismay, I did not get around to seeing the movie early on. Apparently no one did! I was at first put off and am now stunned by its box office mediocrity, with just over $15 million taken in domestically. Without further ado, I’d like to share this delightful surprise.
Should I pay to watch it?
I had tentatively high expectations going in, and they were fulfilled and surpassed. The answer is YES. I worried the movie might feel incomplete, made up of Rachel McAdams and a bunch of British people surrounding her. I was wrong. Truly, the film makes its magic as a British movie filled with British people and nuances and scenery, with Rachel McAdams as a wonderful — but supporting — side dish. Without giving too much away, Domnhall Gleeson stars as Tim, the lovable but unfulfilled son of Bill Nighy’s “Dad.” Tim learns of his inherited ability to travel through time, and as he harnesses his power he falls for McAdams’ Mary. From there, the movie incorporates typical rom-com patterns but goes even further, delving into Tim’s family relations and his relationship with Dad, brought alive by the palpable chemistry between Nighy and Gleeson (the son of Brendan of In Bruges fame, ICYWW).
Could I watch it with a date?
I’m quite sure this was the intent of the filmmakers, and they succeeded. Gleeson will certainly impress, cheeky and sensitive with good comedic timing, and McAdams fits in well amidst the rest of the cast, managing not to look too Hollywoody next to goofy Gleeson and his lovable crew. There is definitely more to Time than a simple rom-com formula, so expect a little more seriousness than you may have first imagined, as Tim does have to face the limitations and frustrations of his powers, as well as the delicacy of his family members. Be prepared to get emotional, and to love a man named Domnhall.
Could I watch it with my mom?
The movie does fit date movie criteria well, but it won’t hurt to watch on a night in with Mother Dearest. Moms do tend to like Love Actually, and the creators still have the touch, allowing for their characters’ growth and happiness, for a little bit of magical realism, without sacrificing the realities of the predicaments they face. Bill Nighy will warm their hearts, as will young Mr. Gleeson, even if your mom happens to be the type of person who finds Rachel McAdams irritating (Sadly, these people really do exist.). Be prepared for Mom getting emotional as Tim’s family faces its challenges, but the movie addresses matters mothers will care about just as much as, if not more than, a younger audience.