About Time Blu-ray Review
Of all the emotions a movie can make you feel, the feeling of love is the most difficult to convey on screen. Love is such a subjective thing that some people feel it when they watch any silly romantic comedy and others only feel it in movies on very rare occasions. Count me in the latter group and so when a movie makes me feel love, along with joy, sorrow and even a greater appreciation for life, then it’s a remarkable film. ABOUT TIME is such a film, but if I simply told you it was about a guy that can travel through time and uses that to fall in love, I’d probably lose you before I finished the statement. The time travel aspect is going to turn a lot of people off because frankly, it’s rare that a supernatural-ish love story actually works. But believe me when I tell you that ABOUT TIME uses the time travel element to perfection and the result is one of the best romantic comedies of the decade.
Domhnall Gleeson is a revelation as Tim, an awkward 21 year-old that learns he has the ability to travel through time. So right off the bat, the number one rule of any time travel movie is to establish the rules in which we’re operating in. It’s Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) that explains the rules; you can only travel in your lifetime, you can’t go into the future, etc. But even a movie as great as ABOUT TIME can’t do time travel perfectly, so there are the normal questions that come up; how can you possibly not change something, how exactly do you get back to where you were, where do you end up when you travel, what happens to the memories you had, etc. The only thing I can say about the time travel inconsistencies is that time travel really isn’t the focus of the film and if you get caught up in it, you’re going to miss the point of the movie. For the time spent on time travel, Richard Curtis did a fantastic job of covering the major holes and answering the basic questions.
All Tim wants is to fall in love and he gets his wish when he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) during a chance encounter. But things get rough for Tim when he travels through time to fix something for his friend, only to ruin the chance meeting with Mary (I’m making it sound more confusing than it is). This is a running theme through the film, where Tim’s ability to time travel doesn’t always work out for the better. The lesson, of course, is that life has to happen naturally and it’s all part of Tim growing up and learning some valuable life lessons. The time travel aspect is used as a tool to teach lessons or to move the plot, but it’s not really the primary focus of the film.
The first encounter with Mary was brilliant and as I watched Tim and Mary talk (in a very unique manner), I found myself relating to when I first fell in love. The dialogue was so natural and charming, that it was impossible not to root for these two to get together. That made his messing it up all the more heartbreaking as we had only begun to follow these characters and now their first, great meeting was ruined. Tim made up for it, of course, by arranging another chance encounter, which was again a unique way of progressing the characters’ love for one another. By then, I was completely hooked and invested in their relationship.
The love story was great, but the relationship Tim shares with his father is what sold the film for me. When Tim learns that his father has cancer, I was in tears. And when he makes his last visit, it’s a heartbreaking and wonderful scene that ranks as one of the most beautiful moments I’ve seen in a movie. Maybe it’s because I’m a new father or because I’m at the age that I can relate to Tim, but adding in that subplot was a brilliant move on the part of Richard Curtis and it added a dimension to the film that you don’t find in many romantic comedies.
I consider myself a fan of romantic comedies, but if you were to ask me to name the great rom-coms of all time, it would be a short list. The genre is filled with bad movies and only sprinkled with good ones, but once in a while you get a truly great film that touches all the right heartstrings. Richard Curtis has a couple of great romantic comedies under his belt already and now you can add ABOUT TIME to that list.
ABOUT TIME BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The video presentation for ABOUT TIME is beautiful, expertly utilizing the various colors and settings used in the film.
Audio: The audio was equally impressive.
Commentary with Richard Curtis, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, Lydia Wilson and Tom Hollander: This is a fun track where everyone sits and talks about the movie while making fun of each other and cracking jokes. Fans of the film will get a kick out of it, while also learning more about the film.
Deleted Scenes (15:33): Richard Curtis introduces four scenes while teasing the existence of several others (and a longer cut of the film). But he chose these four as his favorites and they’re cute, but probably best left out.
Blooper Reel: Making Movies is a Serious Business (3:16): Traditional blooper reel, but maybe this time with more profanity.
About Tim and Time Travel (5:13): Curtis explains how he came up with the film and labels hit his most realistic, despite the supernatural elements. It’s such a fascinating story that I enjoyed hearing Curtis talk about it for a few minutes.
The Look, Style and Locations (8:13): This is an interesting look at the sets and locations used in the film.
The World of Richard Curtis (3:55): This is kind of a love-fest on Richard Curtis, where the cast and crew talk about how great he is. They’re right, but we didn’t need a featurette to cover it
“The Luckiest” Music (2:18): I never made the connection that this was a Ben Folds song and was used throughout the film. But this featurette discusses the song’s use.
Music video and Previews