By: Mary Fran Bontempo
I’ll admit it; I’m a sucker for a sweet love story.
Most women are, and About Time, a delightful film from the creator of Notting Hill, and Love Actually, two equally captivating rom-coms from 1999 and 2003, respectively, fits the bill perfectly.
Even better, my husband loved it, too.
About Time stars the always charming Rachael McAdams as Mary, love interest of Tim, played with a self-deprecating appeal by Domhnall Gleason. Tim is generally unlucky in love and in life, until, that is, his father, played by the engaging Bill Nighy, reveals a family secret on Tim’s twenty-first birthday: The men in Tim’s family have the ability to travel back in time.
It’s not a cure all, or a pass to jump around through history. As Tim’s dad says, “I can only go back in my own life. It’s not like I can kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy, or anything like that.” But it does have its advantages, as Tim uses his gift to help friends, find his true love and avoid tragedy, though the path isn’t always as direct as Tim initially believes.
And while Tim rightfully notes that his ability “was always about love” for him, it’s made poignantly clear by the film’s end just how much of this love story is actually about the love between a father and son, manifested through a game of ping pong, which becomes so significant as the movie draws to a close.
At a time when big budget fare, like the top-earning Thor, commandeers the box office, a beautiful, funny, touching film like About Time can get lost in the shuffle. Make sure it doesn’t. Go see this movie and prepare to laugh, cry and wait for the DVD, when my guess is, you’ll watch it again and again.
I saw this movie with my younger daughter two Saturdays ago, and since then have been trying to convince everyone I know to go and see it. Hannah and I both, absolutely loved it. We both laughed (a lot) and cried (a lot). It truly is funny and touching and a beautiful portrayal of the love between a father and son and the love between the son and his young family. It really is a lovely movie. I was curious to read your take on it, Mary, and it was spot-on.