It is a lightweight film about living without regrets. It has perhaps the sweetest voice-over opener I’ve seen with true moments of originality and grace, but the script and story, though not complete “rubbish,” was perhaps a bit “dodgy.” Like a run-on sentence without commas, too many scenes felt too drawn out and annoyingly slow, like a director’s cut.
Rachel McAdams herein only ever plays the sweet dimensionless rather every-woman role with very little personality. Passenger seated in this and many a film, she does allow her leading men to shine in the spotlight. She and Domhnall Gleeson have tangible chemistry.
Fans of Gleeson will no doubt flock. He is known best for his role in the Harry Potter series, but I loved him best for his sweet insecurity in Anna Karenina (2013), his sass in Never Let Me Go (2010), and his quirk in True Grit (2010). In About Time, he is, as my British friends would say, “so lovely.” Truly, his face alone tells his story.
This film preaches carpe diem, seizing moments of life in the face of grief and powerlessness. We all rush about our days, forgetting to stop and take tea by the seaside, as his family does. Some sprites have the gift of making the mundane special. Even those who could go back and have “do-overs” find that it’s not about fixing the details, but in savoring them.