'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.

Courtesy of Universal Studios
Rachel McAdams (l.) and Domnhall Gleeson (r.) star in 'About Time.'

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.

“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.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'About Time': Time travel makes the central romance a little creepy
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Movies/2013/1101/About-Time-Time-travel-makes-the-central-romance-a-little-creepy
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe