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.