This is a funny, touching and warm hearted film from director Richard Curtis, who previously directed Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones’s Diary, neither of which I was too struck on but I really enjoyed About Time. That I wasn’t keen on those previous films is no reflection on Curtis, who I recognise as a talented director, they just didn’t happen t be films in my favoured style; About Time is.
Although time travel is important to the story the film is not about that, the time travel scenes being over almost in the blink of an eye, About Time is essentially a human tale of life, love and loss and how these things might change for good or ill as a consequence of time travel.
Two of the actors in lead roles were previously unknown to me or, more accurately, one, Dromhnall Gleeson who played Tim, was unknown and the other, Rachel McAdams who played Mary, I had heard of but not seen act before. Both handled their parts with a deft touch that made their characters’ believable. Tim’s dad, was played by the experienced, talented and well know Bill Nighy and Mum by the often underrated Lindsay Duncan, who might be remembered for her starring role in the 1999 tv series penned by Stephen Poliakoff, Shooting The Past.
When he reaches the age of 21, Tim Lake is let into a secret by his dad. It is not exactly a family secret, as the women of the family don’t know; the men of the family can travel through time but only into their past. The time traveller cannot change history but is able to affect events in their own past. This talent, or possibly curse depending on your point of view comes with certain rules at least one of which dad forgets to tell Tim about and I’m not going to say here for fear of spoiling the film if you have not seen it. Suffice it to say that some things cannot be achieved by time travel and there are inherent dangers too.
This is a fine movie that I thoroughly enjoyed, although it might not appeal quite so much to fans of Doctor Who, or H G Wells styles of time travel science fiction.