About Time revolves around Tim, Domhnall Gleeson, and his relationship with his father, Bill Nighy, and his wife Mary, Rachel McAdams. Tim’s father reveals a family secret on Tim’s 21st birthday, all men in his family can travel through time. Time travel films are often hard to do right, but I very much enjoyed this one.
The first part of the film revolves around the courtship between Tim and Mary. You can easily get into problematic territory as the power dynamic of the courtship falls squarely in the hands of Tim since he can relive each experience and tweak it to get his desired outcome. The film tries to paint this as sweet and caring, but eight years after release, it might be questioned.
Fortunately, the film moves along and focuses on how Tim gets into the routine of using his ability and the relationship with his father. He has a wonderful relationship with his dad, and they bond over this shared secret. His father lives every day twice and Tim tries this for a while. It allows both to appreciate the little things all the time. Eventually, Tim trains himself to appreciate these things in real-time and not on replay. It is a message for the audience to take away from the film.
The most touching part of the film is when time travel is used for Tim to spend time with his father. I think most adults have the best relationship with their parents after their early twenties. You get to have an adult relationship with a person who knows things about you that even you do not. With Tim’s ability, he is given wonderful chances to relive parts of his childhood with his adult brain and share those memories with his father. Even with time travel, there is no cheating death, and it eventually enters the film. This is the sweetest part of the film and what elevated it in my book to the five-diamond level.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and hope you will too. Once you are done watching, take some time and call your parents or children. Then try to appreciate some of the little things in your daily life. We all only get to live each day of our lives once, so make the most of it and watch this film.