At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
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At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time... The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim's father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can't change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place...by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he's never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again-and again-but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart. Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to ... Written by
Charming, funny and poignant romantic time travelling comedy drama. A top date movie.
I attended a preview screening of this in London.
If you enjoy previous Richard Curtis (writer, director) films such as Four Weddings and a funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually then you will very likely enjoy this sweet time travel comedy drama albeit with an ironic sense of time travel feeling of been having been here before.
But that more of the same feeling is no bad thing, thanks largely to the wonderful performances of the cast and more importantly, the exquisite execution of its new spin, the time travelling plot device. In fact, the time travelling here is really good fun and plentiful as its employed with typical motives but with inventiveness by our main protagonist, a stereotypical "loser" played with utter charm and goofiness by Domhall Gleeson. His use of the power is at times hilarious but very useful without your typical "changing your past will backfire" moral message. In most time travel movies, changing events in the past is usually painted as a negative repercussion but here, for the most part, the movie is certainly promoting its benefits.
The time travel premise have some set rules that nicely serves the narrative, although if you think too carefully in some scenes, you might find some minute flaws in the execution of the cause and effects which could have been made neater if extra attention was paid.
There is a moral message but you have to wait until the end to get what it is because it isn't so obvious as the film rolls. You might suspect things will happen in some ways as you watch the film but they don't and you might wonder, what's the story then but let it roll and the point of it all comes at the end.
However, that waiting for the end leads to my first little bit of criticism. This film clocks in at just over 2hours and it did feel a tad too long. There are quite a few points in the film which I feel could have been trimmed. I think it could have been about at least 10 minutes shorter.
There are familiar stalwart faces from Richard Curtis's previous films making guest appearances with the always awesome Bill Nighy justifiably anchoring a supporting role with his usual high calibre presence. Its also nice to see one of our great British character actors who had recently passed away make a surprise and funny bit part appearance perhaps for the last time...or did the film makers travel back in time to shoot his part? Rachel McAdams is very lovely as the love interest and is believable as a girl worth manipulating time for.
I'm not a great fan of Richard Curtis previous movies but this film swims along with so much charm, English middle class idiosyncrasies, a lovely romance and a gentle pacing that flows with a steady beat from beginning to end. This is not a riotous comedy, its not a thriller, nor an adventure or even a film that draws any suspense towards the last act. Its a journey through a period of our time traveller's life, sometimes funny, charming, poignant with a very clever and enjoyable time travelling premise.
Its certainly a great date movie too.
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