Review: About Time

about_timeAbout Time

  • Starring: Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Rachel McAdams (The Vow), Bill Nighy (Love Actually) and more.
  • Directed by: Richard Curtis (Love Actually)
  • Synopsis: “At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time… The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again—and again—but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart…There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.”
  • Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content.
  • Must-Watch Trailer:
  • Review:

As the poster states, the creators of Notting Hill, Love Actually and more bring another story in a similar vein of romance and love that usually would make me raise an eyebrow and an excuse as to why to avoid it. BUT…it is fantastic. (If you haven’t taken a moment to either read the synopsis above and/or watch the subsequent trailer, please do so prior to reading the rest of this review.)about-time-rachel-mcadams-domnhall-gleeson-2-600x400

One of the best movies that I genuinely enjoyed even more than I anticipated. As a movie viewer that has grown tired of the incessant barrage of romantic comedies and their cookie-cutter formula, I was pleasantly surprised by this delightful drama posing as a romantic comedy that blossomed into so much more. Taking every man’s dream of having the ability to travel back in time to have a competitive edge on life and making it a vital point in this story kept me engaged throughout the entire viewing.about-time-domnhall-gleeson-tom-hollander-600x400

To steal a line from the photo below: “If I had time travel, I’d probably just go and watch it again!”about_time_film

Reminding me of several other films (including the first film I ever wrote a review for entitled 11 Minutes Ago), About Time carries with it certain elements similar to the likes of Safety Not GuaranteedThe Butterfly EffectBack to the Future and other such stories…and I enjoyed every minute of it. If you are a fan of time-travel stories…think of your Top 5 personal favorites…after viewing About Time rest assured it will be a part of your top 5.

This film is more than a romantic comedy. As a matter of fact, I might go so far to say that it is not a romantic comedy and that it is, instead, a great drama with a romance as a spoke in the wheel of a fantastic story that will keep your imagination and wonder and attention spinning. The story, completely fascinating, has the delightful “indie” feel to it that films such as Ruby Sparks, Perks of Being a Wallflower (only not as depressing) and Midnight in Paris have. loveEvery scene is painted with such character and intrigue from a narrative introduction that eloquently and memorably explains who and what everyone is to a daring dinner date in the dark to an entertaining use of time travel to perfect a night of passion to a walk on the beach to remember, every scene is both beautiful and so full of depth. Impressively, Curtis’s movie, as un-realistic as the premise is, is more real and genuine through the characters and their cares and concerns than so many films that may even be “based on a true story.”

"You have to use it to make your life the way you want it to be."
“You have to use it to make your life the way you want it to be.”

About Time is a movie about time, about love, about life, about family, about relationships, about selflessness and more, and it is told in so great a fashion. Time-travel being the vehicle used to transport the viewer (and the characters) to the conclusion of the meaning of all of those things in life. Opportunities lost may not be regained and thus the moral of the story being to take advantage and appreciate every opportunity given comes through loud and clear and I think mostly so through the Father/Son relationship portrayed by Bill Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson. There’s so much I want to say about this movie, but I can’t seem to get my thoughts together in any way that seems coherent, so, indulge me for a moment as I simply type out and share my notes that I wrote while watching the film.

I’d travel back in time for her! 🙂


(My notes taken while watching About Time)

  • I’m so glad Hugh Grant isn’t in this movie.
  • I feel like I know these characters, or, maybe that I could be the main character. Good writing, good acting.
  • This “romance” movie is drawing me in…how is this possible??about-time-domnhall-gleeson
  • Oh, if I had time-travel power…the things I would do and change. That’s right, Tim (the main character), get that girlfriend!
  • You know those moments when you can’t help but smile for the characters in the movie? To an extent you are smiling for the characters you see in a good situation as the movie draws you into what is going on and then you realize you are smiling as if you are in the scene yourself personally? Yeah, that just happened and it keeps happening. This movie is full of smile-making moments like that.
  • Every guy (or every person for that matter) wishes at some point to have the power of time travel and the ability to use the information acquired to their benefit. Vicariously living through the main character, every guy who may not be in the theater of their own volition (i.e. the girlfriend and/or wife “dragged” them to it) will quickly forget this “transgression” of their own will and begin to enjoy all of the elements of this movie.
  • Man, this movie is PERFECTLY cast! I mean…just wow!about-time-movie-image-600x400
  • It’s real. awkward when it’s supposed to be. endearing when it’s supposed to be…which is almost always.
  • Not a love story as much as it is marketed to be. It is more of a love story within a “realistic relationship” story
  • Quick tidbit here: loved the mixture of music from the early 2000s throughout subtly giving the time period of certain events. (Must link to Ruth at Flixchatter’s music post from this film.) Link provided here. I also love the rest of the indie soundtrack! I think I will ask for this soundtrack for Christmas.
  • Amazing chemistry between all of the characters actually, and especially Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson. They are completely believable in the throes of love, enjoying the beginning of their relationship as is the beginning of any and explores those highs after the quest to find true love. Every “first” is relatable and full of laughter as it is genuine. The film is perfected by these little things.abouttime
  • This familial inherited secret helps Tim realize that life is about the relationships we build and the film uses the entire supporting cast very well.
  • Goes from happy go-lucky to a bit more sombering just like that but still manages to stay light yet pertinent.
  • A movie about life, decisions, the reality of no reset button, “time is precious,” family togetherness
  • Full of tender moments that tug at heartstrings and full of nuggets of truth of life, love and happiness. A similar message to that of Hitch and other rom-coms: “Life is not about the breaths you take but about the moments…blah blah blah.”
  • A wonderful movie. About Time is about the journey of every day chance meetings, every moment and every moment’s meaning.tumblr_mw5l1xqZyU1qgub9do1_500

Upon the film’s end, I sat in the theater, alone, listening to the final track of the score as the credits rolled (Listen to a soundtrack sampling HERE.) and sat there thankful to the movie gods for giving us a movie that was as fantastical as it was real and one that was far more enjoyable than expected. It is a film that hits home in a reiteration of the importance of family, friends and life and I appreciated the efforts of all involved, so, my sitting there watching the names roll up the screen was my little tribute of acknowledgement and thanks. Expertedly directed, acted out and told, this story was an unexpected delight.shock

In case you can’t tell by now. I really enjoyed this movie. I laughed, I cheered, I worried, I smiled, I hoped, I mourned, I contemplated, I remembered, and I celebrated right alongside Tim and the rest of the characters in the film for every second that I got to be a part of their lives. A beautiful film and one that comes highly recommended by this movie lover.About-Time-6-1024x682

Sorry this wasn’t my “normal” review format. I couldn’t put all my thoughts together but just wanted to express my enjoyment of this film. It is touching, endearing, fun, delightful, charming, refreshing and enjoyable.about-time-movie-2013-2

Check out a few other “normal” reviews from some friends of mine below:

Brian @ CanBabiesDrinkRedBull: HERE (Grade given: A)

Dan @ DanTheManMovieReviews: HERE (Score given: 5.5/10)

Tajuana @TajGreeneMoviesInReview: HERE (Grade given: A-)

My Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars for About Time


(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)


Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer


  1. I Love how you had such a hard time explaining how you felt about this movie. I had the same challenged. All I knew was that it left me with the warmest feeling, and a smile on my face. I agree it was perfectly cast, and every action/scene had a purpose. This was a beautifully written movie that is definitely in my top five. I love romance comedies, but this movie surpassed my small expectations for it.

    I am surprised…but I am happy to see that you enjoyed it! lol


  2. Nice review T. I expected it to be overly-sentimental and sappy in the way that most Richard Curtis movies are, but this was a bit done too much to the point of where I didn’t believe in anything that was happening, to anyone, or for any reasons.


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