Matt Adcock’s film review: About Time offers laughs and tears wrapped up in time travel

Time for bed: Rachel McAdams and Domnhall Gleeson
Time for bed: Rachel McAdams and Domnhall Gleeson

Time travel – it’s the ultimate wish fulfillment, isn’t it?

What would you do if you could jump through time to any point in your life?

Fame, fortune, love, surely it’s all there for the taking. Who could resist the temptation of just going back and putting right all those mistakes that haunt you?

This time-jumping is the fun plot device that elevates Richard ‘Love Actually’ Curtis’s latest love-em-up romantic comedy About Time.

Young Tim Lake (Domhnall ‘Dredd’ Gleeson) is told by his dad (Bill Nighy) on his 21st birthday that he – like all the men in his family – can travel back in time.

What’s a guy to do when he hears news like that? Well, Tim goes straight back in time on a mission to get himself a girlfriend.

Sadly, even with time jumping abilities it isn’t as easy as you might think.

First he strikes out with the stunning Charlotte (Margot Robbie) who’s a friend of his kooky sister (Lydia Wilson).

Then while in London training as a lawyer, Tim meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams).

As fate would have it Tim and Mary fall in love, but Tim manages to unwittingly delete having met her with an unfortunate time-travel incident. D’oh!

There’s a lot of fun to be had in watching Tim use his time jump powers to track down and woo Mary again and again – think a romantic Groundhog Day with an extra helping of smaltzy cheese on top.

And then just when you’re in the thick of the budding romance Curtis sucker punches you with some heavy-duty emotional material.

My lovely wife was in tears by the end credits and she wasn’t alone – About Time should come with a warning that it may well leave you aching for the chance to jump back and spend some extra time with those loved ones you’ve lost.

This is definitely a cut above the standard rom-com fair. All the cast go about the romantic business with gusto and Tim makes for a winning bumbling hero in the Hugh Grant mould.

About Time has characters that are well written and developed, a fun sense of humour and crunching emotional impact.

I went into this on a date night with fairly low expectations but came out having really enjoyed a romantic time travelling treat, which I have no qualms in recommending to you!