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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘About Time’ a sweet rom-com with a twist

    Translux
    Translux

    Tim (Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Weasley from the “Harry Potter” series) is a 21-year-old who doesn’t have much luck with the ladies.

    His whole life changes, though, when his father (Bill Nighy) shares with him a family secret: All of the men in the family have the ability to travel back in time. The rules are that you can only travel back to moments in your own life, meaning that there’s no going back and stopping Hitler, unfortunately. Also, you have to go into a dark place. Scoffing at his father’s attempt at a joke, Tim enters a closet and is transported back to a New Year’s Day party, where he kisses a girl he was too much of a wimp to kiss the first time around.

    He uses this newfound temporal ability to make his life the way he wants it and moves out of his family’s beachfront house, eventually meeting the lovely, if slightly awkward, Mary (Rachel McAdams). They hit it off on a literal blind date, eating at a restaurant called Dans le Noir, where patrons dine in complete darkness and are even served by the visually impaired. They start dating; however, Tim comes to learn that having the ability to rewind his life can’t fix all of his problems.

    The movie has a great sense of humor, due in large part to its use of Tim’s time-traveling. He is able to go back and do the things that we all daydream about during boring classes: Avoid awkward encounters, deliver that perfectly timed, debonair line and go after the one that got away.

    The British ensemble of characters (with the exception of McAdams’ Mary, an American who is inexplicably in London) works very well. Gleeson and McAdams make a couple of goofy best friends, and it’s a nice, light relationship. There’s also an eclectic cast of characters, including a quirky uncle, a sardonically morbid failing playwright and a flower child sister who verges on spinning out of control.

    Tim’s only problem is that he’s an average guy. He isn’t going to appear as a shirtless cover model for Men’s Health anytime soon, and he’s just starting out as a lawyer so he’s not some high-profile litigator. He loves his family, especially his sister, Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson).

    Though this is a romantic comedy, a genre that doesn’t exactly lend itself to heavy conflicts, there needs to be something a little stronger than an average guy making his life awesome. Tim is able to live life to the fullest because he knows he gets unlimited do-overs. More serious issues don’t come in until the last third of the movie, and even then they are sorted out relatively quickly. There are definitely some poignant moments, but Tim just has to accept that time traveling can’t fix everything and that some things in life are permanent. In a way, his greatest struggle is realizing that life just isn’t fair, and he concludes that ordinary life can be extraordinary.

    I guess the worst thing that can be said about the movie is that it’s a bit too sweet, too delicate and safe. Our main character gets the girl of his dreams, and the two of them never have a falling out. Most of the film is the two of them just having a good time enjoying each other’s company. There’s nothing odd about a sweet romantic comedy, but “About Time” is simply saccharine.

    Grade: C

    Follow Alex Guyton @TDWildcatFilm

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