About Time - movie review


This is a good date movie, as my wife can attest.


The story of a young man who learns from his father—played by the great Bill Nighy—that the men in their family have the ability to travel back-and-forth through time. Now, the father stipulates that you can only travel back in time through your own life, so you can’t go back and kill Hitler or something, he points out.

It’s a heart-warming film that I’m glad goes beyond the question: “Will he get the girl?” That’s kind of only the first 20 minutes. You get to see Tim played by Domhnall Gleeson (who I only realized recently was the son of Brenden Gleeson), learn the pit-falls of time travel. First he uses it to do small things, like going back in time to when he should have kissed a girl on New Year’s Eve. Then he uses it to go back and ask out a friend of the family who stays with them for the summer. Then he uses it to help out his father’s friend Harry, played by Tom Hollander in a hilarious roll. (Both Hollander and Bill Nighy also star together in Disney’s Pirates films, btw) Going back in time to help Harry, changes Tim’s date with the girl of his dreams: Mary played by the adorable Rachel McAdams. But since they’re fated to be together, Tim later meets Mary again under different circumstances.

Eventually they marry and have a child. But when Tim’s screw-up sister gets in a bad car accident, he goes back in time to stop her from driving... only to find out that this action has changed the sex of his baby. He consults his father and the father tells him that now that he has a child, it’s best not to go back before they’re born, something the father found out for himself when he was a young man.

So there’s some interesting stuff done with Tim’s ability to time-travel, although I kept feeling that there could have been more done with it, but again that wasn’t the point of the story. The story is an intimate look at one family, not a globe-spanning political/war piece.

I recommend this film.