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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Time-Travel Exploits
by Diana Saenger

Time travel, by its definition of moving between points of different times, appeals to those who have a sense of imagination and enjoy the unexpected. Some great films such as Back to the Future, Field of Dreams, The Terminator, Time Machine and more have explored this phenomenon.

Richard Curtisí new film About Time boasts a unique time-travel plot. It takes place in England where Tim (Domnhall Gleeson - Anna Karenina, Dredd, Harry Potter) is about to celebrate his 21st birthday. Dad (Bill Nighy - Love Actually) realizes his son is about to step into the real world and wishes -- like most parents -- that he could help Tim avoid all the landmines of life.

It just so happens that Dad harbors a secret heís ready to admit to his son. He tells Tim the men in their family have the ability to time travel. Tim should probably check his dadís glass to see what heís drinking -- but after learning how heís supposed to do this, Tim tries it out and discovers itís true.

The 21-year-old Tim soon learns this talent comes in handy. After flubbing a first kiss at his birthday party or handling applying suntan lotion all wrong on a visiting beauty, Tim gains confidence when he jumps back in time and re-does those moments correct the second time -- or in some cases three or four.

Timís life growing up was filled with the best things -- movies, beach visits, great parents and outdoor parties. As he grows and steps out in the world, Tim is reminded of Dadís advice about using this advantage to, ďmake your life the way you want it.Ē

That happens when Tim meets the lovely Mary (Rachel McAdams). He tells her, ďI love your eyes; I love your face too; and I havenít even looked further down but Iím sure itís all fantastic.Ē This blunder is part of the charm and humor that threads through the plot. Luckily for Tim, he gets a second chance at that conversion.

When Tim and Mary become a couple Timís gift, unbeknownst to Mary, becomes a huge part of their lives. Curtis is exceptional at bringing wit and humor to his films like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones, and many more. His writing talents capture interesting characters with funny situations, yet he also depicts truth in the humanity of those characters by the way they succeed or fail at their goals.

That theme is a subliminal plot in About Time, for dear old Dad is a short-timer, and he knows he has little time left to teach Tim everything to make him happy and successful. Much of this happens over their tradition of playing ping pong, and the fatherly advice is especially poignant.

Nighy is wonderful here as his character outlines reasonable expectations and offers good advice to his son. McAdams -- always terrific (Sherlock Holmes, The VowWedding Crashers) -- adds an extra spark of effervescence that complements Gleeeson in his role. 

If you go in expecting nothing, then the laughs plus a stronger story than those time-travel elements will make About Time worth seeing for you.

(Released by Universal Pictures and rated ďRĒ for language and some sexual content.)

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