ABOUT TIME Movie Review
When it comes to movie genres, is there any so derided as the chick flick? Written off as frivolous, predictable, and often times boring, to call a movie a chick flick is to instantly insult it according to the general public. While we here at Screen Invasion are doing our part to re-define the term chick flick, the best way for chick flicks to lose their bad reputation is with the films themselves. And About Time is one of few recent films that fits the traditional chick flick markers while also being truly worthy of our new definition for the term.
About Time follows the seemingly ordinary life of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) as he graduates law school, finds love, Mary (Rachel McAdams), and his life with her and his family, especially his father (Bill Nighy). Oh, did I forget to mention his ability to time travel? Nothing crazy of course, he’s just able to to travel to any time in his own life to get a do-over or just relive it. All the men in his family are able to do this, no real reason is given – it just is the way it’s always been. While his father used this ability to read all the books he could and re-live some days without the stress or worry of wondering what’s in store for that day.
When Tim finds out about his family’s ability, he knew it would always be about love. And that’s what this movie is about at its core – how to live and love each and every day. Yes, the focus is on the Tim/Mary relationship but it also features the family dynamics of Tim and his sister, Tim and his father, and just the regular life trappings. Filled with sweet moments, you can’t help but watch this with a smile on your face most of the time. There are the few trials and obstacles they all face, but this is definitely not a tragedy. It stays light throughout except for one truly affecting scene that had the majority of the audience I was at least tearing up, and some even fully ugly-crying overcome with emotion. I won’t dive in to the details so the bumps along the way are a happy or devastating surprise for you too.
Rachel McAdams is at a career best here, imbuing Mary with real personality when she could just serve as a flat love interest. The first meet-cute in the dark restaurant is one of the cutest relationship origins I’ve seen on screen and that’s in large part due to McAdams’ voice work . And while that doesn’t end up being the final meet-cute for them, it does give us and Tim a peek in to who Mary is, enough for him to later find her and try another meet-cute that will stick this time. The true stand out performance belongs to the always great Bill Nighy. He’s funny, fatherly, mentor, and has a great rapport with Gleeson’s Tim. They play off each so well that they serve as the true heart of the film, making this a film worthy of our re-defined “chick flick” and a solid movie all around.