Of course, there are a few stipulations, including the granddaddy of them all: You can’t travel forward in time, so you can only visit events from your own lifetime experiences. Naturally, Tim sets his sights on what any reasonable 21-year-old would do with such a gift: a girlfriend.
After testing out his time travel sea legs, Tim lands the girl of his dreams when he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams). Perhaps McAdams has found her niche in the rom-com-time-travel corner of the industry, because as Gleeson’s partner in crime, she does just fine. Her adorable Zooey Deschanel-esque bangs and mousy demeanor paint her as quirky yet reserved: just what Tim needs. Unfortunately it’s difficult to root for the relationship to succeed, since Mary remains blissfully unaware of Tim’s unique ability.
Often times, things feel uncomfortably normal for a film about time travel; Curtis hands us a slew of stereotypical and terribly familiar supporting characters. However, Bill Nighy delights as Tim’s cheerfully animated father – would you expect anything else? – and lesser-known Lydia Wilson makes us wish we had a sister as wild and free as her.
Be prepared to scratch your head in confusion when a plot hole presents itself on a silver platter (hint: it happens a lot); Curtis has sacrificed sci-fi accuracy in exchange for a multitude of adorable half-glances and awkward social confrontations. But though Tim consistently breaks the rules, Curtis conveniently glosses over them in an effort to keep the film from dragging (in which he almost succeeds).
About Time will make you laugh, cringe, and maybe cry at the sentimentality of it all. Further, it’ll leave you wanting more from breakout star Domhnall Gleeson, whose ginger locks and charming presence will appeal to most audiences everywhere.