ABOUT TIME (12A)

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WHO’S IN IT?

Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina), Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls), Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Tom Hollander (In The Loop), Vanessa Kirby (BBC’S The Hour), Margot Robbie (soon to be seen in The Wolf of Wall Street), Lindsay Duncan (Alice in Wonderland)

WHO’S BEHIND THE CAMERA?

Richard Curtis (Love Actually), director, writer; Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Four Weddings and a Funeral), producers; Nick Laird-Clowes (The Invisible Circus), composer; John Guleserian (Like Crazy), cinematographer; Mark Day (Harry Potter), editor

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

After yet another unsatisfying New Year’s party, 21-year-old Tim Lake (Gleeson) is told by his father (Nighy) a great secret about the men in his family… they have the ability to travel through time. Deciding to use his newly-discovered power to get a girlfriend, he successfully meets – after countless aborted attempts that were quickly redone – a young woman named Mary (McAdams) and falls in love with her. However, the consequences of bending time over and over again soon get in the way of their perfect relationship…

WHY SHOULD YOU BE EXCITED?

In addition to writing some of the most memorable British rom-coms in recent film history, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’ Diary, Richard Curtis has also proven his worth in taking on the double role of writer AND director with the successful ensemble piece Love Actually. He also made The Boat That Rocked, but no-one seems to speak of that…

His third film in both professions, About Time, is a warm welcome back to the sweet, heartfelt romance genre that he helped to define with those earlier films, but with a sci-fi twist. Clearly, his experience on Doctor Who – he wrote the acclaimed episode Vincent and the Doctor – has inspired him to take the basic concept of travelling backwards in time and retooled it to fit a charming love story that only he
could dream up.

Now, it’s true that putting time travel and romance together is not the newest concept in the world – both book and film of The Time Traveller’s Wife and the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time are just some of the examples – but remember, this is Richard Curtis we’re talking about here. He’s the man who made us leap for joy when Julia Roberts declared that she was “just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. He was the writer who told us to be happy for Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell getting together even though she was by every definition a horrible, horrible person. If anything new comes out of this, it will be the sheer joy coming from the audience when, or if, the main couple gets together after overcoming such obstacles as the space-time continuum in this instance. Curtis knows how to write a good, indulgent romance for his audience that may be pure Hollywood but at least it’s crowd-pleasing and satisfying to anyone who goes in expecting a fair mix of pure romanticism and genuine laughs.

In addition, Curtis can handle an ensemble of talented actors as anyone who worked on Love Actually can tell you. The pairing of rising star Domhnall Gleeson and fully-fledged Hollywood actress Rachel McAdams may seem a little strange, but early reports indicate that their chemistry just bounces off the walls and that they are an incredibly effective couple together… one of them just happens to harness the powers of time-travel. Curtis regular Bill Nighy also has a meaty role as Gleeson’s loving dad, so as ever expect good things from him and other British veterans like Tom Hollander and Lindsay Duncan.

With all these elements, About Time is a high-concept romance/sci-fi crossover that never loses its British spirit or charm, and is destined to be a hit in its home country.

WHEN’S IT OUT?

WEDNESDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

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