Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Will Merrick, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hughes
Written by: Richard Curtis
Directed by: Richard Curtis
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
Running Time: 123
Date: 11/01/2013
IMDB

About Time (2013)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Clock Lines

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

About Time is the latest from one of our finest comedy writers, Richard Curtis. Curtis once worked on beloved British TV shows like "Mr. Bean" and "Black Adder" before making a splash in movies with Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones's Diary. His directorial debut was the wonderful Love Actually. But as he continued directing, it became clear that he did not grasp brevity; all of his films run over two hours. Moreover, in addition to being precious about his material, Curtis has also become precious about his characters; nobody in About Time is really tested in any serious way. The movie goes easy on them.

After turning 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) has a discussion with his father (Bill Nighy) and learns that he has the ability to travel through time to any point in his own life. He spends a summer learning to use his gift and fails to win his summer crush, a pretty blonde houseguest. One night, he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls in love. Unfortunately, he learns that by changing other events that happened that night, he undoes any other events. So he must re-meet Mary and win her again. More complications arise when he learns that his time traveling affects his children. But as his time destinations become more limited, he begins learning deeper and more profound lessons about life.

Aside from the aforementioned gripes, the characters are quite lovable and their relationships are delightfully old-fashioned and touching. Nighy in particular gives a wonderful performance. Neither the father-son story nor the love story is given more weight, and the time travel aspect never takes over. (It's also refreshingly free of visual effects.) In the end, it's a low-key and heartwarming entertainment.

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