About Time
Two Stars (out of five)
2013. Released by Universal Home Entertainment. Running time 124 minutes. Rated R for cursing. Special features include deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and a music video. Has English Subtitles. This was reviewed on DVD on Feb 12, 2014.

You mind? I'd like to wash my hands.... The day he turns twenty one, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is told by his father (the always good Bill Nighy) that he has the ability to travel back in time. He can't go forward in time, and he can only travel within his own lifetime--as Dad points out, thereís no killing Hitler, or anything like that. Tim's ability comes in really handy when he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), a girl whom he really likes, and promptly goes back in time, over and over, learning what she likes, and then pretending to be a fan of it when he meets with Mary a second time and even a third time.

I wuv, you, I wuv you, I wuv you.... In other words, Tim has become a time traveling stalker, turning himself into the perfect man for Mary, who never realizes that sheís being manipulated in this otherworldly manner. After a while, I began to feel sorry for Mary, because she never really stood much of a chance, did she? Having someone being manipulated into loving someone else like this is pretty creepy, but writer/director Richard Curtis never focuses on the morality of such a situation. If he did, this would be a science fiction film (and a pretty interesting one at that). Unfortunately, Curtis is interested only in using the time traveling angle to hold up a sappy relationship movie, which wouldnít be too bad if it were any good.

Me so sad. Despite the superb performances from a great cast (and Lydia Wilson is a stand out as Kit Kat, Timís offbeat sister), About Time never really gelled for me. Mainly because Tim used his time traveling ability to goad Mary to love and ultimately marry him, and also because the movie tries so awfully hard to be such a cute little love story; but it falls flat thanks to the fact that itís basically a series of dull scenes without any drama. Whenever thereís a major problem, Tim just flits back in time and fixes it.

Now remember, son, no timey-wimey stuff on the down low! Science fiction fans who know every possible plot angle of time travel stories will be bored at how predictable About Time is, and fans of rom-coms will also be taken aback by the lack of tension as the movie just ambles on from scene to scene with Gleeson and McAdams acting all cute and loving with each other. If you enjoy a movie that just meanders around listlessly, with no real drama happening while dropping the occasional Important Life Lesson (live each day as if itís your very last), then by all means, give About Time a shot. There are some great performances here; if only the movie itself was as good as its cast. --SF

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