STORY: Tim (Gleeson) gets clued onto a family secret – all the gents in the house have the ability to travel through time! He then goes about using this power to sort out various wrongs in his life and win over his lady love. REVIEW: With a movie title that couldn’t possibly be more literal, About Time features an amalgamation of love and philosophy. From the director with a filmography including Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary, you could safely come to the conclusion that Curtis could spin out another romcom blindfolded. He manages to move beyond flightiness and stops just short of being maudlin or mawkish. Tim’s dad (Nighy) reveals the time-travelling secret to junior one day. Forget about quantum physics and those lifelong labours of Stephen Hawking and his ilk; apparently, all it takes to time-travel is to close your eyes, clench your fists and focus really hard. Not one to waste such a phenomenal gift, Tim is certainly a man with his priorities in order.
Forgetting about everything else, he decides to focus on romance in general, Mary (McAdams) in particular, and use his new time-travelling trick to set right certain wrongs. Mary is a bit airy. She has her faults but attempts to be endearing. Indeed, Tim and she share an easy chemistry. Gleeson is no Hugh Grant, but McAdams is a highlight in this film. The film is inexplicably long but the genuinely funny jokes that pepper the plot save the film from plodding into a sentimental soup. There is a strong idealistic streak running through About Time. After all, which one of us wouldn’t want to go back in the years and change certain things? What if we had said the right thing at the right time to him or her…or perhaps avoided that misunderstanding? Wouldn’t that relationship have worked out? Ultimately, the message is simple and visceral enough to have crossover appeal. Give it a shot if romantic comedies float your boat.