I hadn’t heard much about this film, but after a particularly poor choice on my behalf I had given my girl a golden ticket. This ticket is basically an IOU voucher to see any film she wanted, without complaint or wriggling from me. The ticket also included the added value of an apology and possibly a dance. I cannot remember the particular cinematic breach of human rights that led to the golden ticket, but there you are.
Richard Curtis is the king of the British romantic comedy. With his awkward and very sympathetic characters stumbling and bumbling through their stories, Curtis usually manages to draw us in despite ourselves. He is a good writer and director, and while there is a regular familiarity about Curtis’s films, they remain enjoyable and entertaining.
His latest film is full of familiar faces like Rachel McAdams and the great Bill Nighy, who is usually reason enough to watch any film. But it seemed fun, and with her choice confirmed my girl presented me with her golden ticket and off we went armed with a orange choc chip to see what Mr Curtis had to offer.
Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) has a pretty reasonable life, he has a good and loving family who are well off, his best friend is a complete dick, and he is utterly socially awkward, especially around girls. After a typically disastrous new years eve party Tim's dad (Bill Nighy) reveals a fantastic secret. The men in the family can time travel. Only backwards, and only within their own experience. Tim decides he will use his power to to his best advantage. He is going to get a girl friend! After moving to London he meets Mary (Rachel McAdam) and tries to use his power to win her heart.
Ensue time travelling hijinx.
Like Curtis' Love Actually, About Time is not a cliched story about an awkward young man eventually finding love. The story progresses far beyond Tim's quest for Marys heart, it is really about how we spend our time with the ones we love. Curtis (that clever bastard) keeps his romantic comedies fresh and funny, because he incorporates the recognisable with the eccentric and ludicrous.
His characters are charming, interesting, useless but still human. Unlike the sometimes perfect characters we see in Hollywood, Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams (who seems to be addicted to men who can time travel) are convincing as the central characters. Bill Nighy is wonderful as Tim's dad, and easily my favourite character. But I want to mention Richard Cordery who played Uncle D. It is hard to describe his performance, but it was highly memorable.
If you liked The Boat that Rocked, Love Actually or Death at a Funeral I think you will really enjoy this film. It is a funny entertianing and thoughful film and an excellent choice for a date night.
Seven and a half Monkeys
P.S. bring tissues.