'About Time' Premieres In London: Did Critics Enjoy Richard Curtis' Swansong?
New Richard Curtis rom-com 'About Time' premiered last night in London. Do the first reviewers reckon it's as good as 'Four Weddings.' though?
When Richard Curtis announced that he was stepping away from filmmaking after three decades of movies, fans of his sweet and touching rom-coms looked forward to the final piece from the romantic comedy maestro who helped bring us Love Actually, both Bridget Jones films, Notting Hill and Four Weddings & A Funeral.
About Time's premise is straightforward yet intriguing. A young man named Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) finds out from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to time travel. Just head somewhere quiet, focus on a dark memory then...pop! Rather than use the skill for earthly good Tim decides his first mission will be to get a girlfriend. The object of his affection, in true Four Weddings/Notting Hill Curtis style is the smiling, confident American to contrast with Tim's bumbling ways (à la Hugh Grant).
The ever-likeable Rachel McAdams plays Mary, the beautiful yet insecure young woman who unwittingly meets and is romanced by Tim again and again as he repeatedly tries to do it right. However, life's not a rehearsal as Tim finds out as he begins to abuse his unique gift to dangerous consequences.
Rachel McAdams Plays The Andie MacDowell/Julia Roberts Character.
The Hollywood Reporter claims to have enjoyed the film but finds fault in the limited use of Tim's skills and repetition of Curtis' hackneyed, albeit tried-and-tested, themes of British middle class emotional repression, a "syrupy" soundtrack and metaphorical landmark events such as weddings and funerals. "[About Time] is not as charming as his best work, but not as cloying as his worst," says THR, suggesting that "the Curtis brand" is still as relevant today as opposed to more "innocent times."
Domhnall Gleeson & Bill Nighy Play Time Travelling Father & Son.
However, the filmography is praised as more "handsomely filmed" than previous work and there are admitted "laugh out loud moments," particularly induced by the late Richard Griffiths and his Withnail & I co-star Richard E. Grant. The Telegraph neatly sums up About Time as "comfortable" and a "feathery old patchwork under which you might snuggle at the end of a tiring week" which accurately analogises the warm, safe place that Curtis films repeatedly take us. And that's why we'll keep returning to the same films for more long after his directorial departure.
About Time will be released on 4th September in the UK and 8th November in the USA.