Monday, May 19, 2014

Time for Romance

About Time
Director: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy
Released: November 8, 2013

Rachel McAdams is not just the go-to actress for romance films (The Vow, The Notebook), but she has found a nice little niche of playing the female lead in romance movies with a time travel twist - The Time Traveler's Wife, Midnight in Paris, and now this one. She better be careful before she's type cast! I love time travel movies, even the ones where they don't really explain why said characters can travel through time (like this one!) and when I saw a trailer for this movie last summer, I was really looking forward to going to the theaters to see it, but once November came, I kept checking my local listings and never once saw this movie! So I don't know if they had moved it up and I missed it or it just didn't get a wide release, but I was finally able to see it on DVD a couple weeks ago.

When he turns 21, Tim (Gleeson) learns from his father (Nighy) in a very straight-forward manner that he can travel through time, like all the men in their family can. This is one of the very first scenes to be able to set up the movie. Like I mentioned earlier, it is never explained why the men in this family can time travel...they just can. I don't have a problem with that since this movie isn't meant to be realistic in that way, but the, "Hey, guess what, you're a time traveler!" scenes are always awkward and hard to write. His father tells him all he has to do is go to a small, dark place (like a closet), close his eyes and imagine the time and place where he wants to travel back to. Which is kinda lame, but the movie doesn't get into any of the logistics of time travel, so we'll forgive that aspect of it.

Tim, who is a bit awkward, goes back to a recent New Year's Eve party where he didn't kiss a girl who wanted to be kissed at the stroke of midnight and when he goes back, he grabs her and kisses her. He uses his time travel ability to gain confidence around girls. When his sister's beautiful friend visits for a summer, he goes back and relives any moment where he does something stupid or awkward around her so he can learn from his mistakes and be more cool around her. He learns, though, that no matter how many times he goes back in time, she's not interested in him that way.

When Tim moves to London to start a new job, he meets Mary (McAdams) at one of those restaurants where you eat entirely in the dark so you can appreciate the taste or something. They get to talking and even though the entire scene is pitch black and you can't see anything, it's still a very engaging scene with their conversation. It's also very sweet that they like each other without knowing what the other one looks like....except for the fact that when Tim returns home, he's realized he's made a big mistake with his job, forgetting something important and and has to go back in time to correct it (this is why I wish I had the ability to time travel!) However doing this erases the time he had with Mary and it literally erases her phone number from his list of contacts. However, even though his meeting with Mary thus never happened, he still remembers her and what they talked about (which doesn't make sense to me, but we'll go with it since there would be no movie if he had no recollection of her!) and he goes to an exhibit of Kate Moss because she's a fan (totally random....who is a fan of models?) and stays there for hours each day until he finally sees her and proceeds to creep her out by knowing her name and all this stuff about her. It takes him a few times to go back and he finally reconnects with her at a party. I never knew why he just didn't go back to the time when he first Mary at the restaurant in the dark, but maybe they didn't want it to become repetitive. Who knows.

Tim and Mary get married (she wears a blood red dress...interesting choice!) and have a baby. It's a girl so we don't have to worry about any complicating time traveling sons in the future. In fact, they end up with three children and they're all girls. I'm sure they made them all girls just so things wouldn't get complicated! However, when Tim tries to go back in time to help his younger sister who's been abused by her boyfriend, he messes up the time space continuum and when he returns to the present, he discovers his daughter has now become his son. His father explained that once any children are born, if they go back before the child was born (like Tim did in this instance), they might change the DNA of the child. However, Tim is able to correct everything and gets back his original child, but in order to do that, he can't alter his sister's life from meeting her abusive boyfriend so instead has to insist that she leave him. There are a few things in this movie that are a bit confusing and probably would have benefitted from a second watch!

Mary is an editor and she must make a lot of money because there's one scene where an author is coming over to have dinner and she tries on about ten different dresses to decide what to wear (and of course she chooses the first dress she ended up trying, heh), but dang, I only own one dress and I've only worn it once - to a wedding a couple years ago.

I did choke up at the end when Tim's dad dies and he goes back in time to tell his father about how his funeral went. Mary is pregnant with their third child and Tim is trying to get as much time as he can with his father before the baby is born and he is unable to ever see his father again.

This was a charming movie and although some things don't make sense or are maybe too lax, I would recommend it. 

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