Remember that Richard Curtis-scripted movie about the socially awkward British person trying to find love? What if you could go back in time and watch that movie all over again? This is Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) superpower in Curtis’ third effort as both writer and director, About Time, which also stars Rachel McAdams (The Time-Traveller’s Wife) once again caught up in a relationship that is complicated by her significant other’s ability to travel through time.
The really enticing thing about the trailers for About Time so far is the wish-fulfilment nature of the central premise. Surely everyone has at some point in their life wished for the power to go back and prevent a hugely embarrassing moment, or make a foot-in-mouth conversation go better, or to create a better first impression with an important person. Sure enough, since Tim can’t go back far enough to kill Hitler, he decides to use his abilities to ensure that his relationship with Mary is perfect.
In the latest TV spot for About Time, which is out on limited release later this week, Tim uses his powers to fix an awkward introduction by replacing it with a marginally less awkward one, and to improve upon another “first” for the young couple. Gleeson is something of a rising star, having recently starred in a gripping episode of Charlie Brooker’s dark social satire series Black Mirror and in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina, and McAdams is a proven talent within the rom-com genre, so the combination of the two should make for an interesting watch.
Despite ragging on Curtis’ love for humor based around socially awkward characters, it’s hard to deny that it’s something he does well. The general consensus from people I know who have seen the movie already is that it’s a guilty pleasure which they enjoyed a lot more than they probably should have. Reviews so far have been fairly mixed, and tolerance for About Time may strongly depend on personal taste and tolerance for sweetness and sentimentality.
Earlier this year Curtis told Empire Magazine that About Time will probably be the last film he directs, since “it feels like a summing up.” Tell us in the comments if you think it’s going to be a worthy final act to his directing career, which has previously included The Boat That Rocked and Love Actually, and if you’re planning to warm up with it as we move towards winter.
About Time is out on limited release from November 1st, 2013.