Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

'About Time': Time travel makes the central romance a little creepy

'About Time' stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young man who discovers he has the ability to travel back in time.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / November 1, 2013

Rachel McAdams (l.) and Domnhall Gleeson (r.) star in 'About Time.'

Courtesy of Universal Studios


Perhaps, like me, you find the oeuvre of British writer-director Richard Curtis a bit – how shall I put it – twee? As sophisticated comedies go, “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Notting Hill,” and “Love Actually” were so annoyingly smug that they made me pine for the easygoing niceties of Harold Pinter.

Skip to next paragraph

“About Time,” Curtis’s latest recycling of his pet themes, stars Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, a young man who is told by his father (a very good Bill Nighy) on his 21st birthday that, like all the men in his family going back generations, he has the ability to close his eyes and will himself back in time. He can’t change births or deaths, but everything else is fair game.

There’s a creepy subtext to all this, especially when Tim uses his time-travel gifts to woo an American girl (Rachel McAdams) without her assent. Grade: C+ (Rated R for language and some sexual content.)


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!