About Time Blu-rayThe holiday romance flick About Time didn’t receive much notice stateside, although it nabbed more prominence worldwide. This week, the time traveling drama is headed on to Blu-ray and DVD to tell it’s thoughtful story about relationships and the choices people make during a lifetime that affect themselves and those around them.
A few minutes into About Time, the film seems like a hodgepodge of romantic comedy and time traveling tropes. Through a meet cute in a dark club, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) meets Mary (Rachel McAdams). In the dark, they begin to fall for one another, but because of the time traveling component, their potential as a couple is immediately challenged and Tim is left to deal with circumstances in his life going awry. Happily, About Time soon drifts away from the standard romance format to tell Tim’s story. While romance is still a big part of that narrative, his friends and family members flesh his life out into a tale that is far more rewarding, albeit less quippy than your average McAdams endeavor.
About Time is an unusual film, and one filmed with quirky British humor, thanks to excellent timing by Gleeson and Bill Nighy, who appears in the film as Tim’s father. Even when the men willinly break the rules of time travel and science fiction fanatics are cringing in their gaming chairs, the film manages to retain its credibility thanks to its storytelling focus and casting. It only hits troubled waters in the few moments it feels monotonous, and those are, thankfully, few and far between. Additionally, while I would have liked McAdams to have taken on a meatier role in the film, About Time’s story presents the rare occasion when sentiment isn’t sloppy and nostalgia is fitting. Tim’s character is born and bred in a family dynamic worth cherishing. While many of us might avoid our families, there’s enough love in his that you can see why he’d actually bend the laws of time and space to relieve some of the worst of days and some of the best.
Best Special Feature: The understated nature of the time travel is discussed in a special bonus feature, and its one of the more interesting extras on the disc. Curtis talks about how the time travel was secondary to the story he wanted to tell, focusing on "normal life" rather than "hybrid life." Unfortunately, McAdams doesn’t really address the fact that About Time is the third time traveling film she’s been a part of and yet she hasn’t been able to time travel at all. If I were her, I would be an unhappy camper.
Other Special Features:
Deleted Scenes with Intros by Director Richard Curtis
Blooper Reel: Making Movies is a Serious Business
"About Tim and Time Travel"
"The Look, Style and Locations"
"The World of Richard Curtis"
"The Luckiest" Music