‘About Time’ brings sincerity to romantic comedy
If I was being totally honest, I would tell you that I was not so excited about this movie. I would tell you that I had every expectation of this Calvin-sponsored movie being another rendition of another sappy Nicholas Sparks novel.
Oh there’s time travel? Hasn’t that concept been overused yet? There must be some sort of societal threshold to the number of allowable romances containing hints of science fiction.
But I was surprised by this rendition. I can be a cryer in some films if it strikes a certain chord, and Richard Curtis’s “About Time” strummed a tune that brought me to tears more than once. Not only did the movie tell a stereotypical romance, it explored themes that cut to the heart of human relationships.
It’s no mystery that we are only given a certain amount of stolen moments in a lifetime. But what if you could go back and enjoy them over and over, changing small unfortunate moments or reworking your life to a specific purpose? Turns out Tim Lake has that ability, just as all of the men in his family before him did.
So what does Tim want to change? He wants a girl, of course. But through his fumbling around with his gift of time travel, he discovers that though he can relive moments as much as he pleases, he cannot force other people to act the way he wishes.
As Tim goes through life he discovers that he, like the rest of the world, must take life one day at a time and still learn how to deal with the joys and sorrows of life. In this strikingly sincere film, we see our struggles reflected in Tim as well as our own triumphs.
We laugh at ourselves through Tim’s more uncomfortable discoveries and awkward slips in interactions. And we cheer when Tim tries it over and knocks it out of the ballpark, jumping over the potholes he fell into before.
And not only is it a beautiful and honest romance, it is also a movie that delves deeper into what is important in life: family. Tim is given the opportunity to unify his family and encourage them, taking every advantage of life with them.
But he is also given the opportunity to harm them and keep it a secret. Instead of destroying them and himself, he runs. He runs hard and fast away from the things that could demolish his family and himself, and he doesn’t look back at it or relive it.
“About Time” shows the vulnerability and beauty that is life without oversimplifying or overexaggerating too greatly one way or the other. It is not without fault by any means, but the value of life and living well leaves one with all the sense of the preciousness of the gift of life.
Though I was a skeptic going in, I laughed and cried my way through a very uplifting and gratifying work of art.