Moments after seeing the first trailer for About Time, I began making The Time Traveler’s Wife references. Actually, I don’t even think I waited until the end of the trailer. As soon as I saw that it starred Rachel McAdams as a time traveler’s wife, I went into full stand-up routine mode. “What doe she want? To be typecast as a time traveler’s wife?” I said to my empty living room, “I mean, c’mon, she’s already made this movie! Am I right or am I right or….did I spill soy sauce on the couch again. Dammit Jenni, that stains.”
However, despite making fun of the movie for weeks on end, I still went to see it this week because, truth be told, sometimes I could go for a lighthearted rom-com that lets me turn my brain off for a few hours. Especially after spending the last few weeks seeing movies like Gravity, Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave. Man those “good” movies really take a toll on your soul. I’m at the point where someone says “movie theater” and I want to curl up in a ball and die because I know what’s coming — some real heavy and stressful shit that makes me think about things that are far beyond my usual Miley-Cyrus-forgot-to-wear-pants thoughts.
And tell you what guys, I’m really happy that I went to see this movie. Not only did it give my brain a much-needed break, but it also reminded me how refreshing it can be to see a feel-good movie. Despite being about love and family and the English countryside, it never once comes off as cheesy and/or stupid. Two things that I think define almost every single rom-com that I’ve seen in the past 26 or so years.
Domhnall Gleeson (a former Weasley) stars as Tim, an awkward guy who find out on his 21st birthday that all the men in his family can time travel — but only back to moments that they’ve experienced themselves. So no playing with dinosaurs or hanging out in flying cars. Also no confusing butterfly effect. As someone who often gets frustrated by all the rules in time travel movies, I found this one extremely easy to understand. (Unlike Frequency, a movie that I’m still trying to figure out.) Sure there are a few moments where I’m like, “hey, can you do that??” But for the most part everything made sense.
Rachel McAdams, as we mentioned above, plays Tim’s wife, Mary. She’s as Rachel McAdams-y as ever — cute, charming, pretending to be uglier than she is. Since we know from the trailers that they get together, we never stress about that in the movie. In fact, we never stress at all. The movie’s much more about learning how to best spend your time. Which, even the cynic who lives inside of me 24/7, can get behind.
(Photo: The Guardian)