Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 11th October, 2013
Time : 123 minutes
Director & Writer: Richard Curtis; Music : Nick Laird-Clowes
Starring : Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Richard Cordery, Joshua McGuire, Margot Robbie, Tom Hollander, Tom Hughes
One of the alternate taglines for my book, Eighteen Plus, was ‘Romantic Comedies. With sex’, before we chose to go with the much classier ‘Bedtime Stories. For Grown-Ups’. The reason I bring that up is that the tagline for this movie could just as easily have been ‘Romantic Comedy. With Time Travel’ or even ‘A Father-Son relationship. With a touch of Science Fiction’
The men in Bill Nighy’s family have always had a secret. After they turn twenty one, they can travel back in time. Only back in their own lives, as Bill Nighy explains to his bewildered son, Domhnall, “You cant kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy” but you can travel, quite easily, back and forth, by simply visualizing the moment you want to be transported to. Key question now confronting the gob-smacked Dom is, what do you do with such a gift ? He and his father attempt to find out what they (and anyone else) should want out of life, with or without such an ability…
I love British humour and this film is no exception, especially coming from Richard Curtis and starring the lovely Rachel McAdams (as Domnhall’s love interest), who continues to endear herself to me in every role I see her in. Domhnall, who revels in his lead role bringing the right amount of bewilderment and confidence to his character and most importantly, Bill Nighy, who steals the show with his fantastic turn as the father, combining humour and life’s lessons with effortless ease…
The bizarre walks to the beach in Cornwall, the movie sessions, the ping pong games, the early, sweet crush on Margot Robbie, the eccentric sister, Lydia, the brusque mother, Lindsay, the impeccably dressed uncle, Richard, the walks in and out of the tube station with Rachel, the importance of Kate Moss, the crazy playwright, Tom and the gentle humour permeating every scene make it really enjoyable.
The pace, never too nippy ever, does flag a bit, especially in the second half. The time travel thing does seem like a little bit of a bolt on – and you do wonder, if someone had that gift, would he solely use it to chase love, as Dom seems to, without ever getting tempted to go for money, fame or power ?
However, the end does come together nicely. Important lessons to most of us, who seem too absorbed in building for the future to be able to take our days, calmly, one at a time, stopping ever so often to reflect, smell the coffee and the roses around us, to revel in what we do have rather than forever hanker for what we don’t. Happiness, after all, doesn’t need to be postponed for tomorrow but can be enjoyed everyday…