I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie like About Time before, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.
In theory, this Richard Curtis directed flick about a bloke who can go back in time to relive and change moments in his life had the potential to be very good, and in execution it was watchable enough too.
But there’s something about it that just didn’t sit right for me; there was absolutely no drama.
At no point in the two-hour running time did the main character find himself in any trouble.
Basically what happens is that he chooses to go back in time repeatedly to make his life better with no consequences. First he sorts out an embarrassing mishap at a New Years Eve party, then he helps out his flatmate, repeats the introduction to his future wife a few times, engineers the perfect wedding, has kids, helps his sister improve her life and goes back in time a few times to see his dad after he’d died.
What’s the point? Where’s the hook? I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy specifically about a guy who uses his time travelling skills to land himself a wife, but he manages to do that by around half an hour in.
Surely the basis of any good story is that the main character must have some level of adversity to face; some challenge or other to make the plot have meaning?
But there wasn’t anything like that in About Time; it was just one guy having a great time for two hours. Nothing goes wrong, everything works out for the best and his time travelling ability causes no problems for him or anyone else.
Well isn’t that just marvellous?
It must be for some people, because it has 5 Stars on NetFlix.
But as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t cut the mustard or go anywhere near the standard of Curtis’s other efforts like Love Actually, Notting Hill or Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Look, it wasn’t shit; the acting was mostly good (well, Bill Nighy just plays Bill Nighy like he does in everything he’s in) and it didn’t drag, but it just felt so ‘safe’ and unimaginative, and who wants to watch that?