I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in having numerous memories that make me cringe; that one time where you said the worst thing possible, the many times you inadvertently put your foot in your mouth – those moments you just wish you had the chance to go back in time and change.
About Time sees Tim (played by the brilliant Domhnall Gleeson) , who would be deemed unfortunate even by my standards, suddenly realise he can, infact, go back and change what he wants, within his own time-stream, after being enlightened to this special ability by his father (the equally brilliant Bill Nighy) upon turning 21. His firs ambition is to find love, and he is lucky enough to meet the girl of his dreams, before going back in time and changing events so they never met. Can he find her again, against all the odds?
What made About Time so unique was the fact it was a sci-fi film where we weren’t forced to listen to all the mumbo-jumbo nonsense as to why the time travel worked. Instead I could just appreciate it at face value without being bored by the ‘sciencey’ machinations that always go straight over my head. There was also a good chemistry between Gleeson and his love interest, Rachel McAdams, which helped keep a film grounded in the real world with realistic problems rather than seeming a fudge, which we could not sympathise with at all. Gleeson’s family and friends were also brilliant, from his dotty sister to his unique uncle, and everyone had their moment to shine.
And of course the film had Bill Nighy in it. It sounds almost cliched to say it but he remains one of those actors who seems unable to give a bad performance. Here he delivered a master class, with his numerous one liners adding much to a film with plenty of laugh out loud moments and subtle humour. It was also touching to see the late Richard Griffiths fleetingly appear, adding a touch of poignancy to the overall theme of the film.
I fear my review has been to positive, but Richard Curtis is a fantastic writer, so maybe it shouldn’t be surprising, but it is worth bearing in mind the film is quite long, so be prepared for that.
But with my 21st birthday soon approaching I’m hoping to be taken to one side and have a family secret about time travel revealed to me… It would certainly be about time.
By Peter Byrne
About Time is in cinemas now.