Friday, January 3, 2014

About Time Review

If you don't know already, I am a big fan of the British singer Ellie Goulding. Recently she released an extended version of her Halcyon album entitled Halcyon Days. No this is not a review of that album, but there is a song on that album entitled How Long Will You Love You. It's a very sweet, romantic song. My first thought upon listening is that I want the song played at my wedding. Pretty soon after the release of Halcyon Days, I learned that this song will be featured on the movie About Time. I know that's a silly reason to be excited about a movie, but that's what happened. When I finally got around to seeing this movie this past week, I was rather disappointed. The song was on there, but it was sung by someone else. The guy didn't do a bad job singing it, but it still wasn't Ellie. That aside, I'm actually glad that I was motivated to see the movie in that way because I ended up loving the movie.

About Time looked like it was simply a chick flick, so I didn't put it high on my list to see. Turns out that it wasn't a chick flick at all. I mean, chicks will like this flick, but the typical chick flick formula doesn't exist. There's a romance storyline, but the couple falling in love isn't even the main focus of this movie. The movie is more focused on the relationship between the father and the son. The premise of the movie is that the males in this particular family, once they turn 21, have the ability to travel in time in their own personal lives. There are plenty of conditions to this that the movie gets into more as it goes along, but I won't jump into those. Our main character Tim has just turned 21, and his dad takes the time to break the news to him. Initially Tim thinks this is stupid, but quickly learns it is actually true. Tim decides to do what most single men in their early 20's would use this to do. Get a girlfriend.

Imagine for a second if you were on a date and you said something really stupid, but had the ability to go back a few minutes and fix that. Or perhaps you had a really bold question you wanted to ask a certain someone, but you were too nervous to ask. Wouldn't you like the idea of asking the question with no shame, then going back in time if things blew up in your face? Like say, pretend you had a girlfriend, but you didn't know if she wanted to marry you or not and suddenly you had an old girl from your past come into your life that showed genuine interest. What if you could just go propose to your girlfriend, and if she said no, you could go back in time and fix things with this other girl? Yes, I got that example from the movie. Like that idea? Or do you think that is really shallow? Think people should just learn to do things on their own without cheating their way through life. Think people should just learn to enjoy life as it comes? Yeah, I'm getting there. This movie isn't a shallow movie about time travel. It has a lot of depth to it and I loved the overall message that it was trying to get across.

The cast in this movie is really good. Our main male protagonist, Tim, is played by Domhnall Gleeson, best known for his role of Bill Weasly in the Harry Potter movies. His main love interest is the lovely Rachel McAdams, who I've noticed somehow ends up in like every romance movie. Both of these characters do a really good job of acting, but another thing I noticed was how well these two have aged. They play characters who are supposed to be in their 20's and, despite Gleeson being 30 and McAdams being 35, they pull it off real well. In fact, later in the movie time fast forwards and they are supposed to be older. I was going to complain that they didn't look old enough for the roles they were playing later in the movie. When I looked up the actors' ages, I was pleasantly surprised that they were actually older than I thought. However, like I said, the love story between Gleeson and McAdams isn't the main focus. The focus is more on the relationship with father and son, and the great Bill Nighy, who manages to make it into every movie I watch, also does a fantastic job as the dad.

In the end, this movie really surprised me. With how strong the reviews were, I expected a moving and perhaps charming love story mixed with time travel. I got that, but I also got a movie that was a lot more. About Time is well acted, well shot, and was touching and inspiring enough to almost make me tear up in the end. If the movie doesn't end up making my top 10 movies of 2013, know that it will have at least gotten close. I give About Time a 9 out of 10.

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