Ever since I first saw The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum, I have loved Richard Curtis. I love his sensibilities when it comes to romantic films. He isn’t about schmaltz or cheesiness; he is about humor and authenticity. After that film he went on to write the brilliant Four Weddings and a Funeral, which gave him a bankable hit. He continued his feature film success with Notting Hill, the screenplay adaptation of Bridget Jones’ Diary, the megahit Love, Actually, the underrated gem Pirate Radio, and the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. With that track record for me, he could not do wrong. His latest film, which he also directed, is About Time.
Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), at the age of 21, learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in his family have the ability to travel back and forth through their own pasts giving them the unique ability to change things that have happened to them. Tim can’t change history but can change his own life and he starts by trying to use his power to land himself a girlfriend. He meets the beautiful Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls in love, but in trying to make things the way he wants he ends up screwing up his own relationship. Now he must not only deal with the tribulations of a relationship but the consequences of messing with it.
I wasn’t sure this could ever have happened, but Richard Curtis bested all his previous efforts and made what is now my favorite film of his. About Time is just oozing with charm and heartfelt sentimentality, not the usual manufactured sentiment that usually accompanies this type of film, but genuine sentiment that really got to me. Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan Gleeson, is absolutely brilliant here. His awkward but loveable Tim is an easily identifiable character that I instantly bonded with. His portrayal is so great I have a hard time finding the words to describe my fondness for the character. Equally enigmatic is the always adorable Rachel McAdams. How any human being could not fall for this actress is beyond me, she is always genuine, lovable and thoroughly convincing in her roles and this one of Mary has to be one of her best. The chemistry between the two is tangible. The time travel angle, while you would think it might be distracting, is so compelling and holds the story together so well it is almost inconceivable that someone wrote it and made it work. About Time is one of my favorite movies of the last year and one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. Brilliant.
The Blu-ray from Universal is gorgeous, perfectly complementing the beautiful storyline. A lush, colorful, detailed picture is paired with a full bodied soundtrack for a pristine package. Do yourself a favor and check out About Time, it’s a real winner from one of the best writers in the genre.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.