"About Time" Review

About Time
Title: About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre(s): Romance  
Rated: R (For language and some sexual content)

The old saying goes that when something works it just works. Sometimes there are no words needed. This saying is suicide for a critic when he see's something that just works and then has to go home and write a review explaining why something works. I feel that while there are a few things to say about Richard Curtis's “About Time” the words can almost be considered pointless. How do I even describe how this movie works? I guess I could tell you it's about a young British man named Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who falls in love with an American girl named Mary (Rachel McAdams). Yeah, I guess the movies about that. Nothing too special there. I guess I could also mention that Tim has the ability to travel through time, but I fear that would just make this sound silly (though, I suppose, to a certain extent it probably is).

Ah heck, I'll even go as far to say that the movie is predictable, way too happy for its own good sometimes, and is probably nothing more than a date movie when you get right down to it. Truly though I enjoyed every minute of this film, predictable though it was. A movie like “About Time” may not break the mold in terms of originality, but I found the journey to be full of subtleties that most movies like this would simply not bother to develop. Alright, let's look at the film itself, which opens with Tim being called into his father's office so that his dad (Bill Nighy) can revel to him a family secret: that the men in their family have the ability to travel through time. There is no word on why the women don't have this gift as well, but for the sake of argument I'm going to go with it.

He explains that it only pertains to his life though. He can't travel back in time and kill Hitler nor can he travel to the future to see what the next breakout stock is going to be. He can go back in time and relive certain events, but go back too far and some things might be unreversable. The movie doesn't really get into the whole butterfly effect too much though, and most of the times Tim goes back in time usually results in only minor changes in the future. The movie also isn't clear on what happens when both men want to use the power, but they have some conversations where a look at each other gives them the sense that they have had this conversation before. Yet the movie isn't really all that concerned with how the time travel is used as Tim states upfront that he was always going to use it for love (and helping people out when they need it).

The core of what makes the movie work so well are the characters, as these people feel real. They feel like people I would like to know and spend time with. They have their own quirks and personality quips that make them lovable. When Tim does use the time travel little flubs that require do overs usually result in big laughs by the time the ultimate payoff comes around. Will “About Time” change your world? Probably not. But like “Sleepless In Seattle” and “Return to Me,” I feel this movie has the right amount of heart to make it a perennial favorite for the people who do seek it out. It will not change the world, it will likely not get any Oscar nominations, and Curtis is not the new James L. Brooks (yet). What “About Time” will do is make you smile pretty much from beginning to end and make you appreciate the small things in life all the more.

Parents, there is some mild strong language and minor sexuality. No nudity or anything too graphic though. Recommended for ages 15 and up.