Emotionally prepare for ‘About Time’

Chelsea Sherlock, Movie Columnist

Romantic comedies that involve time travel have become a disappointing trend at the theaters. They’re far too common, tend to be cheesy and often feel like the time travel aspect is just a lazy plot device to attract viewers.

For every enjoyable “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” there’s the terrible “Winter’s Tale”(Please don’t waste your money on it).

So when I went to A&O Productions’ showing of “About Time,” a movie that recently came out on DVD, I wasn’t expecting much beyond a typical rom-com. The trailer gave the appearance the movie was primarily about a guy using his ability to travel through time to get the girl of his dreams to fall in love with him.

That is a part of the film’s plot, but it’s actually a pretty minor point. Rather, the movie looks at family love, life as a parent, self-sacrifice and death.

Because I expected none of that, I came in to the showing unprepared for the emotional journey I was about to embark on, without having even purchased a ticket. There were tears, thunderous applause and a genuine emotional connection with what the characters were going through.

“About Time” centers around Tim, played by Domhnall Gleeson who plays Bill Weasley in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” A law student who spends a lot of time with his family, Tim desperately wants to find love. When he turns 21, his father sits him down for a talk in which he reveals the males in their family can travel to past times in their lives by going into a small, dark place, clenching their fists and thinking of the time they want to go to.

Tim uses his new ability to try to make his life as perfect as possible but quickly learns that changing things in his life will often have consequences in the lives of others, forcing him to choose which path to take. He has to try multiple times before he finally ends up with Mary, played by Rachel McAdams.

Though the movie is not a spectacular film that everyone must see, it’s still a great movie for people who like rom-coms, movies about families and films that evoke emotion. The characters feel original, have depth and will leave you with a feeling of catharsis.

Richard Curtis directed and wrote “About Time,” and my main criticism lies in that Curtis does a poor job of following consistent rules of time travel. The laws change based on the desired results of the time travel, which lead to confusion as to how Tim’s traveling in time actually works.

Also, as someone who thinks red hair is fantastic, there is a delightful amount of it in the film.

P.S. Dear reader – Bill Nighy, who plays Tim’s dad, portrays Rufus Scrimgeour in the Harry Potter movie series, so it feels a little like Scrimgeour is Bill Weasley’s dad.

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