About Time (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Excellent, charming characters.

At least one moment in our life do we sit and think about our past. What would have been different had we done this or that different. It’s common for people to wish time travel was possible just to fix one thing in our lives that we see as broken. About Time takes that all-too-common idea, mixes in a little charm, love, and humor, and creates a cocktail that is sweet and not abundantly over-the-top. Time travel can be a tricky subject in film, because they want to show you how devastating the world could be if you step on that butterfly…this film on the other hand isn’t so strict on the rules as much as it is presenting wonderful, unforgettable characters.

As far as plot goes, the film is about this young man named Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who has just turned twenty-one, to which his father lets him in on the family secret. The men in his family obtain the ability to travel back in time – to a personal moment in their own life. They can’t go into the future, just the past and present. At first, he decided to use his powers as a romantic notion. He soon learned he couldn’t specifically use the powers to make anyone love him. When he does eventually find the one, things aren’t so easy because he’s such a nice guy. He wants his friends and family to be happy, and when bad things happen, he changes things for the better on their end, and then he’s stuck in another pickle in his own life.

It’s hard to place the film. It’s clearly a coming-of-age film slash romance with a touch of time travel. I just love the fact that time travel is just this random fact in the background while the real story is going on around us. Yes, time travel is incredibly important here, but make no mistake, this isn’t a time travel film. This is purely put, a movie about supremely written characters. The characters are wonderful, each and everyone one, and their independent relationships are completely noteworthy. The loud and clear relationships to note was the romantic relationship between Tim and Mary, the father-son relationship between Tim and his father, and the sibling relationship between Tim and his sister, Kit Kat. Of course they all interact with each other throughout the film, but those three relationships I mentioned above make this film sensational.

I almost don’t think the movie even needed time travel because the characters were so great. It would be a completely different movie, to be sure, but I’m not sure if time travel was needed. In the scheme of things, the time travel element was like…an amazing spice that you add to your burger to make it taste like near perfection. It was just…this extra flavor that made the movie special and even unpredictable. This isn’t The Butterfly Effect or The Time Machine, because it wasn’t about changing anything so much as it was about paying close attention to the idea of carpe diem. Live your life as if it were your last, cherish every day.  

Now I don’t really like chick flicks, and there was a lot about this film that screams chick flick…but if a chick flick has an interesting enough concept that separates it from the rest, then I’ll definitely give it a shot, because those are the films with promise. It was time travel and it was this…mixture of fresh British and American humor that truly makes this film worthwhile. I love the concept, the chemistry, and I definitely loved the characters and the actors portrayals as such. All in all…it’s a great movie, and had I seen it before, it would have made my Top 25 of 2013 list.

The Good

Too much to list in a short few sentences, but in short: The time travel concept mixed with fresh humor, memorable chemistry, phenomenal characters, and extraordinary performances all around.

The Bad

There were moments here and there that you could easily place into the category of age-old chick flick movie tropes. Throughout the movie, there are these distinct moments where you actually don’t want the guy to use time travel and he does…that’s more of a bittersweet thing though, because the way it is done in the end is remarkable.

Memorable Quote

Tim: Lesson Number One: All the time traveling in the world can’t make someone love you.


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