Last week I made the decision to go and see Richard Curtis’ new masterpiece, “About Time”. Being a massive Love Actually fan, as in, I will watch it when it is not Christmas, and I will watch it around 100 times when it is; I was expecting nothing less than amazement. And it didn’t disappoint. Don’t get me wrong, the whole film was cheesier than Wham, but Richard Curtis’ English sense of humour made it somehow perfectly acceptable. Plus cheese is basically what I look for in a film.
The story starts showing Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) living his slightly loserish life until daddy (Bill Nighy, the main reason you should go and see this film) informs him of a family secret meaning all the lads can go into a “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” type scenario and emerge at any point in their life to have another crack at it. Tim wants to use this new ability to find love and eventually manages to bag the beautiful Mary (Rachel McAdams). The film goes through their lives and the dilemmas Tim faces as he tries to balance helping his sister escape from an abusive relationship with his family life and realises that going back in time can’t fix everything.
We come to the moral of the story (of course there’s a moral of the story, it’s a rom-com) as Bill Nighy gives his last piece of advice before he leaves Tim for good. Which is: that Tim should use his gift to live every day twice, the second time appreciating life more and noticing all the little things that make us happy. All the things that turn a good day into a bad one are somehow made to seem irrelevant and petty in the large scheme of things when they’re experienced a second time.
One thing I will say is that the trailer is rather misleading in terms of the storyline I gleaned from it. After seeing Rachel McAdams in the trailer saying “we’ve never met” and skipping to Domhnall Gleeson saying “what do I do?” I was under the impression that at some point in the film he erases their whole lives. So I sat on the edge of my seat as we got further and further down the line and they got married and had babies constantly thinking “oh no, when is he going to be a twat and lose everything…”, but it never happened! Which is obviously great but I would have rather not spent the entire film on edge worried about a massive twist that was never going to come.
Regardless, my friends and I all came away feeling uplifted and inspired, with a new appreciation for life. It was one of those rare occasions where a “feel good” film actually does make you feel pretty damn good. The main thing I was thinking though was what a sweet deal it would be to be able to go back in time. All those ridiculous situations that occur in my life on a pretty regular basis could just be redone; embarrassing hullabaloos would basically be nonexistent. But if I’m really honest, it’s those stupid things that happen to me and the embarrassing things I do that are the most memorable and that bring laughter to my life. So even if I did have the gift of time travel, I’m not sure I’d want to redo anything. I’m a firm believer in “if that’s what happened, that’s the way it’s meant to be”… life is what you make of it, and a bit of ridiculousness now and then only adds to the experience.