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The fun and romance of time travel

Rachel McAdams is partnered with another time traveler, played by Domhnall Gleeson, in a new romantic comedy opening on Sept. 18.

Film review: About Time

MANILA, Philippines - A cute plot involving time traveling, along with consistent proper timing on the acting front, has turned the British film About Time into a fun, sweet watch. It is a movie that can easily capture the imagination of hopeless romantic Filipinos and might even push a local filmmaker to tweak its concept and cook it Pinoy-style for his next rom-com project.

The movie stars Domhnall Gleeson, eldest son of veteran actor Brendan Gleeson, and the more popular Rachel McAdams who previously appeared in another time travel-plotted film Time Traveler’s Wife. This time, she’s essentially the time traveler’s girlfriend. 

The story revolves around Tim Lake (Domhnall) who finds out from his dad (Bill Nighy) that he (as well as every male member of the family) can travel through time by just stepping into a dark space and, with his fist, commands his mind to revert back to a moment in his life that has already happened. While this seems to be the coolest gift one can have, for him this is purely incidental as he remains more focused on finding a special someone. 

Most of the time, Tim just rewinds particular incidents and does things better the second time around, especially when it’s for the purpose of impressing the opposite sex.

That’s where the funny points strike strong, like in a New Year’s Eve party scene when he decides to kiss a girl acquaintance, understandably improving on his initial move as a boy who can’t muster the confidence to go reasonably aggressive with someone who obviously likes him. 

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In another sequence, Tim comes inside the bedroom of Mary (Rachel), but then awkwardly acts by the time he makes the touchy advances, plainly because of inexperience. The audience knew it is best for him to turn back the clock a bit and be more forwardly manly in taking care of the situation. 

The film’s setting is London, with fanatics of The Beatles surely to get thrilled once the camera catches the door to the legendary Abbey Road Studio. Tim moves from Cornwall coast to the capital city to train as a lawyer. But the more exciting part is his journey to finding for himself a perfect girlfriend. 

Domhnall, who appears in the Harry Potter film conclusion, and Rachel empower a kind of chemistry largely made possible considering they are portraying characters who are not typical hot-looking, oozing-with-confidence individuals. They look like insecure and nerdish, yet that vulnerability enables them to project the cute couple aura they ought to be when they’re together on screen.

Thanks too to a support cast that knows how to make themselves appear funny without even trying. Bill is captivating as Tim’s old man strengthened by wisdom and beautifully odd realizations on time traveling. The formally dressed up Uncle Desmond, played by Richard Cordery, provides several of the punchlines by just being plain dumb, or should we say forgetful. Even the portrayal of Tim’s sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson) is well-delivered. 

About Time is written and directed by Richard Curtis, with its scheduled opening for Filipino theatergoers set on Sept. 18. This is distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation.


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