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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 20, 2013

About Time Movie Review

THE NEW movie from British Director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”, he also wrote “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill”), “About Time”, starts as a romantic comedy and ends up as a drama about family, fathers and sons. It aims to be a profound, mature and touching movie, but it also features some gags and jokes about sex.

The central character is Tim (Domnhall Gleeson, who played Bill Weasely in the ‘Harry Potter’ flicks), who is told by his dad (Billy Nighy) when he turns 21, that men in their family has the ability to travel in time. All he has to do is to stand inside a dark place like a closet, ball up your fists, think of what point intime you’d want to go to and, just like magic, you’re transported there. This gives you the chance to correct your own mistakes and yes, find your one true love.

The woman of his dreams turns out to be Mary (Rachel McAdams) who he meets in a blind date. This starts on the wrong foot as she already had a boyfriend, but with his ability to time travel, he eventually gets everything right. If you’re looking for the usual hunky tall, dark and handsome hero, you won’t find him in this movie. As Tim aptly describes himself, he is “too tall, too skinny and too orange”.

By the time the boy gets the girl and they have a funny wedding in the rain and live happily ever after, the movie becomes kind of boring so they inject some drama. This is introduced through Tim’s younger sister named Kitkat (Lydia Wilson) who has problems with men and finding work. Then another complication: someone in the cast is afflicted with a terminal disease. Well, we told you they want to be profound.

Gleeson is not our usual idea of a romantic leading man but he’s funny and likeable enough at the start of the movie as a dorky and bumbling new lawyer looking for love and his own place in the sun. But it is Nighy who is certainly the more charismatic performer here. He succeeds in making the film work as a moving film about fathers and son. It is his relationship with Gleeson that holds the film together and ultimately elevates it into something truly wonderful, making it sweet, hilarious and quite smart.

As for Rachel McAdams, this is third film about time travel, after “The Time Traveller’s Wife” and “Midnight in Paris”. As Mary, a publisher’s assistant who wears dowdy dresses, she matches the comic skills of her co-stars and is more of a joy to watch. Her love story with Tim is not really new as it’s quite reminiscent of Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in “Groundhog Day”. But still, she and Gleeson make their movie quote a treat for diehard romantics.