About Time - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

About Time Reviews

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April 29, 2017
To live the life to the fullest.
½ April 16, 2017
Somewhat inventive and creative romantic comedy. It treats its scifi elements very casually which makes them palatable to a scifi phobe like me.
April 14, 2017
Beautiful , deep, meaningful story about the relationship between a father and his son.
April 1, 2017
Very long movie,. If you shut your eyes you swear it was Hugh Grant rehashing Notting Hill, About a Boy, etc.
March 30, 2017
"About Time" stars Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, a socially awkward young adult who finds out he can travel in time (inside his own timeline) and decides to use his powers to find love. The target of his pursuits is the also somewhat awkward Mary (Rachel McAdams). There are definitely some questions regarding the specific mechanics of time travel, however, it is not a big issue, since this is a romantic comedy with elements of time travel and not a sci-fi film about time travel. The key plot element seems to be the sort of self-induced "Groundhog Day" with Tim's repeated attempts to make Mary fall in love with him. Surprisingly, time travel does not actually happen that often. In the second half of the film it is only used two or three times.

This is a romantic comedy, meaning it has to tick two very important boxes: romance and comedy. There is definitely chemistry between the leads. Tim and Mary are very similar: they are both a bit socially awkward, shy, but also very witty. The dialogue between them highlights their similarities and feels very real. Romance: check. The dialogue is overall fantastic, laced with British dry wit. Contributing greatly to the comedy are the supporting characters surrounding Tim and Mary, like Tim's quirky free-spirited sister or his bitter playwright landlord. The scenes between Tim and his father (Bill Nighy) are some of the best in the film. Every character is unique and quirky almost to a fault. Comedy: check.

However, the movie fails in plot and plot structure, which is rather unfortunate, considering the interesting concept. A tried and true format for films is to have a tense conflict that the protagonist tries to solve throughout the film despite the many obstacles thrown in his way. This keeps the audience invested in every scene. This film does not do that, but rather it is an episodic series of minor conflicts. The pattern is: a scene or two introducing the conflict, then a scene resolving the conflict, and then a scene or two of Tim and Mary just being in love. And repeat. The conflicts rarely revolve around their relationship. Be it good or not, but here we do not have the formulaic romantic comedy structure and on paper this format actually makes sense in keeping with the themes of the film - living life and appreciating its ups and downs. But this does not translate onto the screen very well. The lack of central tension results in boredom. Also, it means there isn't much of depth to the character of Tim. Therefore, when the movie ends, it just sort of happens.

Speaking of the ending, the similarities between this film and Richard Curtis' previous success "Love Actually" (2003) are very noticeable. Firstly, the ending of "About Time" is stylistically identical to the opening of "Love Actually", complete with a disembodied voice talking about life and love over shots of random residences of London. The plot's misgivings can also be traced back to the 2003 film. "Love Actually" is an ensemble comedy with each character having their own conflict and resolution. The lack of one central conflict works in that film, because there is also no central protagonist. "About Time", on the other hand, is a single protagonist film with a multi-protagonist structure.

Overall, the film is enjoyable despite its shortcomings. There are plenty of embarrassing and hilarious situations that Tim finds himself in. As for those looking for romance - Tim and Mary's relationship is exactly what you want. But with a better structure to the plot and better use of the under-utilized time travel aspect, the film could have been so much more.
March 24, 2017
Love the music, love the plots, and like the actors
February 28, 2017
thought this was a charming movie
February 20, 2017
Could not finish this. The film appears to be some weird homage to a troubled (at least at one time) man. That this man happened to pen some songs that were popular and influential seems tangential to the story - the filmmaker and actors involved seem to have a weird (that word again) fascination with posing for posing sake. This is one of the films that fans the stereotype of artists as hopelessly self-involved! The jumbled flashbacks, actors in extremely out-of-context roles and the other 'artsy' touches were just awful also. What a pile of crap!!
½ February 16, 2017
WHAT I LIKED: As a general rule, I think Richard Curtis is hugely under-appreciated as a film-maker, and nowhere is that more the case than where his 'About Time' is concerned. Now of course his overall reception is largely down to genre-prejudice, but for me this film is the best example of how he always balances everything so well, and in doing so creates a genuinely excellent movie that still largely gets critically forgotten.
For a start, About Time strikes the perfect balance between taking itself seriously, and having a bit of fun, and that exists both in the story itself, as well as in the tone of the film where different types of humour are used at all the right times to relieve from all the emotion. It is a silly plot after all, but it's yet again one that you can take a bit seriously because its characterisation and relationships are so well-built by Curtis and his amazing cast. The investment you have is nurtured too, as there's just the right levels of both soppy happy endings and difficult twists and turns to keep you there without swallowing you up or spitting you out. It's also paced rather elequently (which agreeably is something that can't be said for all of Curtis' ventures) and has some lovely themes that are yet again treated with the right level of exploritative seriousness and light-hearted whit too. Basically, About Time works because it's a proper balance between excellent 'rom' and brilliant 'com,' but putting those words together sadly puts some off before they even try it.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Maybe the silly (and often over-convenient) plot lose some sense of the relateable realities of love, life, and death, but if you take it as not-so-seriously as the movie does, you wont really mind at all.
VERDICT: It's About Time people gave Richard Curtis a big pat on the back. He delivers his most balanced film here, and I really love it.
February 7, 2017
Gleeson, Hollander, and Nighy could sell me anything, no matter what. Throw in my woman-crush McAdams and I'm even willing to overlook all this time travel nonsense and bump up this otherwise poor rom-com a whole undeserved star.

I am but a mere mortal, I have weaknesses, sue me.
February 6, 2017
One of the most beautiful and sincere films I have ever seen.
February 1, 2017
A guy from a privileged background uses his time travelling powers to set himself up in life with a beautiful wife, job, kids etc. Then, and only then, he tells us that he is going to stop using his gift and live every day to the full... and we should too! F@%k off Bill Nighy is great though:)
½ January 26, 2017
Funny, witty, dramatic film of a man that has the ability, that all of us wished for, travel time. To make big life choices with time on one's side. Very beautiful tale about love and life. Not a must see, simple entertaining.
January 3, 2017
- My dad!
- My son.
:'(
½ December 31, 2016
Lovely, lovely, truly lovely!
½ December 30, 2016
The leads lack chemistry...and the dialogue is lackluster, fortunately the interesting concepts and worthwhile message make it a reasonable watch
½ December 30, 2016
This movie is telling us something very important and fabulous way
½ December 28, 2016
Interesting take on time travel and how it can be used to better family life.
December 16, 2016
A pleasant heart strong tugger.
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