It is tough to move around the system that has been set in place for romantic comedies. It is a stalled motion that usually just cranks out beautiful people and money and goes about its way. It is always refreshing to see someone try and break the mold that is made when it comes to rom-coms. Richard Curtis, known for multiple great love story comedies, defies the expectations set before him and crafts not only a story about boy meets girl but also about a boy and his dad and the trials of life.
About Time starts out as a conventional romantic comedy. Tim, (Domhnall Gleeson) is seeking love but is thrown for a curveball on his 21st birthday when his dad (Bill Nighy) tells him that the men in their family have an odd quirk to them, they can time travel. Tim decides to use this power to find love but falls short with his first crush, Charlotte (Margot Robbie).
Tim moves to London and soon meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), who Tim perceives as the best thing since sliced bread. The relationship between Tim and Mary is cute, but without many hitches. But luckily, the second half of the film had some different hitches to create problems in paradise outside of the usual predicaments that people find themselves in during the course of the rom-com.
About Time gets it. It isn’t just about the love between spouses but it is also about the love between the family. This addition sets the film apart from others to me because of Curtis’ emphasis on the relationship between Tim and his dad. Nighy gives so much personality to his character and his personal use of time travel (going back and re-reading books) gave him time to grow his relationship with his son.
The film plays more as a romantic drama about life rather than a romantic comedy because while there are many humorous parts, the bulk of what you’ll take out of this film is the drama and the interactions between family. Curtis clearly favors taking in all the greatness of life and his vision is shown perfectly through these characters and the events of their own lifetime.
About Time isn’t your usual rom-com because of how meticulous it is in finding the greatness in life rather than the greatness in love. The cast is superb and the relatability of all the characters draws you in immediately and makes the more painful moments even worse. If you are looking for a film that will make you feel fantastic and take in life but also bring you down to the sadder moments, About Time is right for you.