Movie date: About time (NC16)

Cinema still: About Time

STARRING: Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy

DIRECTOR: Richard Curtis

THE SKINNY: Tim (Gleeson) learns from his father (Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to travel back in time. Tim uses his new power to woo Mary (McAdams), but then alters the present in ways he couldn't have imagined.

THE CONSENSUS: This is no run-of-the-mill rom-com. It will attract whether you like time travelling or not. About time you caught it!

MARS
- Jason Johnson
Ratings: 4 out of 5

Time travel movies are the best.

Last year we had the wonderfully nasty Looper; here comes the gentler - but no less good - About Time. The film is unusually laidback, and they don't even bother to make the time travel seem sensible.

All Tim has to do is clench his fists and close his eyes to zip back to the past.

Tim's father uses the power to catch up on reading; Tim uses it to get a girl.

How refreshing to see a film in which learning and love hold more attraction than money and power.

Tim's family is eccentric in that typically British way.

There's a dapper but dunderheaded uncle who never knows what's going on. The mum models herself after Queen Elizabeth.

Tim's sister is a pixie chick whose light shines too brightly for this dreary world and that causes problems later.

The relationship between Tim and Mary is delightfully boring: They're content to just moon over each other.

His focus is his career and family. Her focus is napping.

She'd rather stay in bed than go out to meet people, because people are horrible.

I like her!

The film's message about enjoying simple pleasures isn't earth-shattering, but that's obviously the point.

Big fusses are to be avoided. Silence is golden.

Time travel isn't for taking over the world but for winning your true love's heart.

I can't imagine anyone not adoring this.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg
Venus

- Joanne Soh
Ratings: 3 out of 5

Can McAdams do any wrong?

Not only is she blessed with enviable good looks - even in a bad hairdo - she's one talented performer too.

There's something about her that you can't not like, and in this case, it's her devoted wife and mother character Mary, even though her role is very thinly written.

Curtis hasn't directed a rom-com in a very long time, since 2003's Love Actually.

While About Time may not be a winner like his past offering, this will be a crowdpleaser just the same.

Gleeson is nowhere in the league of Curtis' earlier romcom leading men like Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

His character Tim aptly describes himself as "too tall, too skinny and too orange".

But the gangly Brit, last seen as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, grows on you. It helps that he and McAdams have chemistry.

He makes an adorable lead, although honestly, he has much help from seasoned pro Nighy.

As much as the movie is about Tim's sweet, uneventful romance with Mary, it is also a heartwarming tale about the bond between father and son.

Ironically, the moments between Nighy and Gleeson are the ones that will have you reaching for the tissues.

Nighy seems to be Curtis' go-to guy to play lovable patriarchs and you know why he's on Curtis' speed-dial: The veteran is always reliable.

Here, he's the best dad anyone could ask for.

joannes@sph.com.sg


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