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I’ve just finished watching About Time, written by Richard Curtis, writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Notting Hill, among others). From the trailer (see below), you’d think it was a romantic comedy, which I guess it is. But it took me a while to realize that the theme of the film, while it brushes up against romance, is actually love between a father and son. Love of life and all that it’s mucked up with, finding the optimism in a day, savoring all we can, letting go of the past. Soaring.
I can see why the film has gone under the radar. Having released in October, 2013, most friends of mine haven’t heard of it. It takes a while to get into the story, and for a good portion of the film, you’re left to wonder, “What is this actually about?” “Where is the focus?” “Is this film trying to be too many things?” I feel pulled into many story lines, so where will this one go? Is it a tearjerker in rom-com clothing? Is this movie going to take a weird turn and be about nothing I’m promised in the trailer? Yes, but really no. No, I promise.
I loved this film, find it brilliant the way the axiom is turned inside out. “Live each day as if it’s your last.” But what if it doesn’t have to be? What if you have the ability to travel back in the time of your own life and change it? What if you can relive a day, better and avoid pain? And not in a way where the pain is inevitable, where it’s bound to poke up elsewhere. Just poof. And then, what will the self-revelation, the big ah-ha moment of the film be? What’s the take away message? I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say, that when it was revealed, a truth we all know, I left the film knowing it more intimately, feeling the inside of it. So much so that I cried and nodded, and heard myself saying, “Yes.”
In all, though, it’s really not a romantic comedy of boy gets girl, loses girl, gets girl back. Not at all, and maybe it’s about time.