Movie Mom

Movie Mom


About Time

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content
Profanity:Very strong and crude language
Nudity/Sex:Explicit sexual references and sexual situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and substance abuse
Violence/Scariness:Sad death, scary car crash
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:November 1, 2013
DVD Release Date:February 3, 2014

about-time1Richard Curtis perfected the art of the 21st century romantic comedy in “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Notting Hill,” and “Love Actually.”  They were witty and sophisticated and had posh British accents that made them seem twice as witty and sophisticated.  They were filled with of pretty people wearing pretty clothes in pretty settings, seasoned with self-deprecating humor, magnificent friendships, pop-y soundtracks, and happy ever after endings.  ”About Time” has all of that, plus a twist.  I don’t mean the addition of a fantasy time travel element, thought that is something of a departure.  The real twist is that the important love story here is not between man and woman but between father and son.

Oh, there’s a romantic love story, of course, and it’s the part that’s featured on the poster.  Tim (Domhnall Gleeson, son of the Irish actor Brendan Gleeson and best known as one of the Weasley brothers in the “Harry Potter” films) lives in Cornwall with his family, a blissfully happy group that includes his slightly starchy mother (Lindsay Duncan), slightly dotty but impeccably dressed uncle (Richard Cordery), wild child of a sister (Lydia Wilson), and book-loving, family-loving dad (the indispensable Bill Nighy).  Dad explains to Tim that the men in their family have the ability to travel through time.  There are limits, of course.  Like “Quantum Leap,” he is limited to his own lifetime.  He can’t go back and meet Queen Victoria or ride a dinosaur.  And, as Tim will spend the rest of the movie discovering, while he can go back to correct a mistake, the ripple effect of even the tiniest change may have very big consequences that are not so easy to fix.

It may sound all very precious and cutesy, and it is, with Curtis’ trademark adorable eccentrics that are less adorable than he intended.  Even an English accent can only make up for so much.  Tim’s use of his time travel powers to make up for various gaffes is entertaining in a “Groundhog Day”-lite sort of way.  (There’s something rather meta about a feeling of deja vu in these repeated, slightly improved encounters.)  The romance between Tim and a pretty American named Mary (Rachel McAdams), while refreshingly free of the kinds of agonizingly silly misunderstandings that plague most romantic comedies, is on the bland side.  The first meeting with Mary’s parents is supposed to be awkward and funny, but it’s just awkward.  Things get more interesting later, as Tim and Mary get married and start a family.  The stakes are higher and the choices are more complex.

It is in the third act when things start to get interesting, because that is when the focus shifts to the father-son relationship.  Curtis, who says this is his last film, opens up his heart for a piercingly bittersweet engagement with the big questions of who we are, making peace with not being able to fix everything for everyone we love, and finding a way to make pain and loss deepen us.

Parents should know that this film includes sexual references, some explicit, and some sexual situations, very strong and crude language, car accident, and a sad death.

Family discussion: If you could go back in time, would you correct a mistake or take time to enjoy what already happened? Why did Kit Kat have such a hard time making good decisions? Was there anything her family should have done differently to help her?

If you like this, try: “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually” from the same writer/director and “Groundhog Day”



  • http://Weasleytwin Cheryl

    This looks like a great movie and I hope to see it, but a minor correction. Domhnall Gleeson did not play one of the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter movies. He played their older brother Bill Weasley. The twins were played by Oliver & James Phelps. :)

    • Nell Minow

      Thank you, Cheryl! Nine more corrections and you get a free copy of my book!

Previous Posts

Trailer: Chef
Jon Favreau follows his big-budget special effects movies ("Iron Man," "Cowboys and Aliens") with a return to his small, indie roots ("Swingers") as director/writer/star of the scrumptious-looking "Chef."  (WARNING: Some strong language) [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP6SE65F-h4[/yout

posted 8:00:51am Apr. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Have a Blessed Easter: Movies for the Family
My gallery of Easter movies includes "Ben Hur," several different movie versions of the life of Jesus, a couple of choices just for kids, and a classic musical named for a classic song, Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade." There's something for every family celebrating this weekend. [youtube]https://

posted 8:00:44am Apr. 19, 2014 | read full post »

A Dramatic Commercial for TNT
I love this commercial for TNT! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIkPeZKP-d4[/youtube]

posted 8:33:40am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Movie Stingers: Scenes After the Credits
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRJ38y4Jn6k[/youtube] Ferris Bueller had one.  Marvel superhero movies sometimes have two.  When did it become a thing to have a scene after the credits (sometimes called a stinger)? New York Magazine's Vulture column has the history of these extended

posted 8:00:47am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Fading Gigolo
John Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in "Fading Gigolo," a bittersweet meditation on the ways we seek and hide from intimacy, sometimes at the same time. Turturro plays Fioravante, a florist who works part-time for Murray (Woody Allen), the third-generation proprietor of a used and rare books

posted 9:24:32pm Apr. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.