Wednesday, November 20, 2013

About Time

About Time is a new British romantic comedy from the creator of Notting Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Irish actor Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy. In the film, Tim Lake (Gleeson) has spent yet another miserable New Year’s Eve party without a girlfriend. Waking up the next morning with a hangover and no happy memories of a passionate midnight kiss, his father (Nighy) shares a family secret that’s revealed to all Lake men once they reach their 21st year; they can travel through time. While Tim can’t go to the future or change history, as his father says “you can’t kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy”, he can travel to and change moments in his own life. The instructions are simple; go in a dark cupboard or closet, close your eyes, clench your fists and think of the exact time and place to which you want to travel. In complete disbelief of his father’s words, Tim runs off to prove his father wrong, only to end up in the previous night’s party, and happily sharing the passionate midnight kiss he craved.

After a summer spent suffering the pangs of unrequited love for his sister’s (Kit Kat) friend, Charlotte, Tim leaves Cornwall and relocates to London, where he'll share a home with his father’s friend, Harry, a struggling playwright, and begin his career as a lawyer. While out with his friend Jay, he meets beautiful but insecure Mary (McAdams), and falls instantly and madly in love. To reference another romantic comedy, Sleepless in Seattle, once they meet it's “magic.” After asking for her number, which she readily enters into his phone, he says one of the sweetest lines I’ve ever heard; his phone was old and shit before but now it’s his most valuable possession (Aww, right?…I’d be a puddle on the floor if someone said that to me; I’m easy prey aren’t I?).

Floating on cloud nine over his true love, Tim makes his way home only to find Harry distraught over the failure of his play’s opening night, after a lead actor forgets his lines. Determined to help his friend, Tim travels back in time and having successfully rescued the day, pulls out his phone to call Mary only to find he doesn’t have her number, because since he went to the play instead of the restaurant they’ve never met. After some initial heartbreak and hilarity, Tim finds Mary and meets her for the first time again, and then again, until he finally wins her heart. Ultimately, Tim uses his newfound gift to chart the course for a perfect proposal, marriage, and family, but he quickly finds that he can’t avoid all life's sorrows, for into each life a little rain must fall.

OMG…deep sigh…I went to see this movie last night, during the usual cheapo night at my local theater, and I’m still sighing today. It was so great! Maybe not Oscar great, but beautiful, sweet, sentimental, poignant, romantic, and funny; I can’t think of other adjectives that might apply, except for maybe perfect. The romance was sweet and charming, and Gleeson and McAdams had perfect on screen chemistry. Gleeson’s nerdy charm was endearing and he played his role with the perfect measure of naiveté. McAdams was wonderful as always, and despite her natural beauty, she conveyed her characters insecurity very believably. Nighy was pure gold as the wise old sage to which this incredible gift is nothing new. His every scene with his onscreen son radiates warmth and love. It might surprise you, but I’d say he was my favorite character in the movie.

As much as the film is a romance or love story, it’s equally a story of love, not just romantic love but also familial love, with incredibly moving and poignant scenes involving the father and son, and sibling relationships. Through the tale of this sweet couple and their extended family we are reminded that life is short and, unlike the Lake men, we don’t get second chances or do-overs with those special moments in our life, so we need to live every moment of our life to the fullest and absorb and appreciate every second of every day as if it were our last because that moment won’t come around again. There is beauty all around us, but sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to truly open our eyes and take it all in.

About Time is a phenomenal film that you’ll want to experience again and again.