About Time


Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Released: June 2013
StarringDomhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie

From the brain behind The Boat that Rocked, Notting Hill, Love Actually and Bridget Jones comes a warm and fuzzy, all-nice, all-good, hot chocolate and cuddles on a rainy day kind of story. It’s called About Time. (If you loved Driving Lessons, I think you’d enjoy this film.)

I love coming-of-age films, there’s nothing better than seeing bog-standard, everyday man-on-the-street kind of characters on the tellie accomplishing the extraordinary and telling you that everything will be alright in the end.

About Time is one of the best feel-good comedy/dramas out there, partly because it’s to do with time travel. It’s about an innocent and quiet boy called Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) who at the humble age of 21 is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that, like every man in his family, he can travel back in time.


While his grandfathers before him used time travel to make more money, and his father went back to read as many books as he could, Tim decides to use time travel to improve his love life. He soon begins to learn some harsh lessons.

Tim: Lesson Number One: All the time traveling in the world can’t make someone love you.

After a few of life’s trip-ups, a twist of fate and a lot of laughs, Tim finds Mary (Rachel McAdams) and goes about to win her heart. But that’s not the end of the adventure, as life intervenes and reminds Tim that he may be able to time travel, but he’s still going to experience hard times.


Tim: There’s a song by Baz Luhrmann called Sunscreen. He says worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind.

To match the emotion and tone of this film is a fantastic soundtrack, including Nick Cave’s Into My Arms and At the River by Groove Armada. It’s a great soundtrack, which supports Tim’s emotional journey throughout the backdrops of London and Cornwall.

I would watch anything Bill Nighy is in, and Domhnall Gleeson is pretty cool too. But I adore Rachel McAdams, I’m so pleased she was cast. Although she is so annoyingly beautiful, which they didn’t do a good job of hiding! I don’t think the bookworm character of Mary was supposed to be quite so attractive…

Mum: Mary! Good Lord, you’re pretty.
Mary: Oh, no. It’s just… I’ve got a lot of mascara and lipstick on.
Mum: Let’s have a look… Oh, yes. Good. It’s very bad for a girl to be too pretty. It stops her developing a sense of humor. Or a personality.

I love how, despite Tim’s efforts, things still don’t work out perfectly every time. Because life always interferes – just like with everyone else. It rains on the wedding, family members get hurt, people die, and things don’t always happen in an ideal order. In fact, life or fate is a character of its own in this film.


About Time is full of solid advice, the ‘what-ifs’ explained, and the strength of family. You will laugh, you will cry, and you’ll want to hug your favourite people a little harder.

Tim: And in the end I think I’ve learned the final lesson from my travels in time… I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

It’s a beautiful script and despite its slow pace, was executed into a film brilliantly. It’s one of my favourite films and perfect for a family movie night. But you will cry. So, you’ve be warned.

Jodie’s rating: 8/10

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
This entry was posted in All Film Reviews, coming of age, Date Night Movies, drama, Editor's Pick, Girls' Night Movies, sci-fi and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to About Time

  1. Pingback: Movies About Time Travel | NZ Film Freak

  2. Pingback: Top 18: Best Coming-of-Age Movies | NZ Film Freak

  3. Pingback: Wedding planning: Things no one told me – Jodie goes jetsetting

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