At first blush twenty one year old Tim Lake is but one endearing member of an eccentric family full of love. The night after yet another disappointing New Year’s Party, Tim’s dad (Bill Nighy) reveals that all the male members of the family have the ability to travel through time to effect their own past but not that of history at large.
Moving from Cornwall to London to train as a lawyer, Tim decides to use this new revelation to try to get a girlfriend. The attraction between Tim and the insecure Mary is obvious as it unfolds in total darkness, Dans Le Nuit, a trendy London restaurant where customers meet, greet and eat without benefit of the visual. Tim may use his time travel skills to win the girl, overcoming faux pas after faux pas, but the underlying goodness of the character is what wins our hearts.
Creators proudly tout this film as being from the people who made Love Actually and Notting Hill, as well they should. Though this film has a quieter feel, it is still rich in quirky secondary characters we can well relate to and dry British humor Anglophiles will adore.
The true strength of About Time is not the charm, the comedy or the quirkiness, though those all shine. As in Love Actually, it is the universal truths uncovered as we discover along with Tim that unique gifts cannot save any of us from the sorrows that affect all families nor can they create what is there for each of us to treasure–the beauty of our everyday lives.
Destined to be another Anglo-American classic.