Frosh-cessities: Experiments in Stopping The “Oh-How-Time-Flies” Syndrome

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Seeing a new batch of freshman make their way through campus –  armed with maps and radiating an aura of nerves, of course – has made me start to feel rather decrepit and old. I recently encountered a group of first years who were undoubtedly lost, and who looked at me as if I were a venerable professor instead of a student just one year older than them. As if this experience wasn’t unpleasant enough, the Morning Mail I get now reads “for second-year students,” reminding me daily of my advancing years. This morning I resorted to the extreme measure of checking the mirror for signs of white hair. And when I ran into an other aging sophomore in the afternoon, we spent 15 minutes just discussing how quickly the previous year had gone by and how “absolutely weird” it feels not to be the youngest people on campus anymore. As my fellow centenarian walked away, he remarked just how quickly time flies by. I truly wished that I could somehow grab time by the collar and tell it to slow down. What follows are my experiments in trying to do that.

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RomCom Thursday: About Time

I went to see About Time, the new film from Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis, by myself at 4 on a Monday afternoon. It looked like a nice romcom, and I had nothing better to do. I am not ashamed.

About Time stars an actors whose parents thought it would be a good idea to name him Domnhall Gleason as an awkward young man who has very little luck with the ladies. One day, his father–last seen singing a #1 Christmas hit in Love Actually–tells him that the men of the house can time travel. So good ol’ Domnhall (I think his character had a slightly more reasonable name) uses his new gift to seduce brunette-version Rachel McAdams, and in a matter of a few scenes, marry her.

The rest of the movie is dedicated to Domnhall’s family relationships. His free-spirited sister is stuck with a bad boyfriend and gets boozy; Rachel pops out a child or three; and dear old dad is getting older. The film actually handles these various subplots quite well (the son-dad one is the focus) but you can’t help but feel a little duped. At no point in the final act does Regina and Domnhall’s relationship hit a near-terminal obstacle that can only be resolved by a Spandau Ballet-backed kiss.

Even so, there are plenty of crowd-pleasing tearjerker moments. They may not occur in the context you were expecting them to, but they’re enough to justify your two-hour time commitment. Wait for About Time to hit video, and then bust it out on a dreary winter break evening. It’ll do the trick.