ABOUT TIME is the latest from Richard Curtis, the creator of such flawless romantic comedy classics as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually. It stars a former Weasley (Domhnall Gleeson) as a time traveler who woos Rachel McAdams. In short, this is a film specifically catered to an audience of me. I am surprised to inform you that I was disappointed.
It could've been so good! As the film opens, 21-year-old Tim (Gleeson)'s awesome father (the awesome Bill Nighy) tells him that the men of their family have the ability to time travel. Sweet, awkward Tim, who describes himself appropriately as "too tall and too orange," takes advantage of this power to find the love of his life, Mary (McAdams), and learn all the right ways to romance her into his pants. Their chemistry is charming and wonderful (even if exploiting his gift to learn up on her interests comes off a little creepy).
But About Time just isn't romantic comedy-ish enough. While Tim starts out dedicating his time-traveling gift to boost his odds with Mary, he uses it more to party with a younger version of his dad. That's fine—Bill Nighy is great, I would have done the same thing—but it's not what I signed up for, or even how the first half of the movie sets up the audience. There are two great stories here—one romantic, one sentimental—but they're clumsily smushed into each other. About Time clearly wants to tell us something about love and life, but I couldn't figure out what that was.
Admittedly, my expectations were absurdly high. About Time will adequately delight a normal person who enjoys romance and laughs and the beautiful English coast. I guess I just ask a little more of my English romcoms. And my Weasleys.