Monday, March 10, 2014

When you're ready, it's all rather mysterious.

F--k Elton John. F--k the circle of life. I'm serious. Yes, getting older and growing up is part of life (and I'm actually really enjoying it right now). But the fact that everyone I know will be dead some day, well, that doesn't exactly thrill me. As much as I love seeing my son grow up, it means that my own dad is headed toward his final days. Then, hopefully, I'll be old and get to see my son have a child. Then it will be my turn to go. And then his. If only there was something I could do...

Before I saw this, I thought she was wearing a giant red flag.
According to writer/director Richard Curtis' About Time there is, but only for one special family. Recommended by the very rad Elina at the very rad Films and Coke, About Time tells the story of the Lake men, all born with the ability to go back in time. Based in the familiar reality of growing up and becoming a family man, it's very interesting to see time-travel on such a small scale. But, be warned. This isn't the quirky rom-com set up in the previews. Shit. I probably would have cried less if I'd slammed my junk in the doors of a DeLorean.

Okay, I might be overselling the gooey bits, as the bulk of the movie is a quirky little story about a dopey British bloke (think a marginally more confident/less magical Ron Weasely) trying to land an eccentric American chick. With the ability to essentially redo any stumble, verbal or literal, our man Tim ends up as the perfect guy. His girl? Eh, she's okay, too. Just a little light upstairs, if you know what I mean. Nudge, wink, wink. Nudge.

Anyway, for a minute, maybe even thirty, it seems like this ride will be bump-free, until Tim's (special? junkie?) sister Kit Kat gets involved in some nasty business. The simple fix of time travel has some major ramifications that Tim simply didn't know about. Certain things, it appears, ol' daddio forgot to mention.

Speaking of Pops Racer, let me say that Bill Nighy may be one of my favorite people on the planet. Seriously. And in About Time, I've never loved him more. As the overwhelmingly charming patriarch of the family, Nighy's character typifies a life lived perfectly. He has used his ability to go back in time to read great novels (over and over) and has settled into his role of proud father and husband. Obviously, his role in the story resonated with me the most, and is what ultimately wrecked me in the end.

While we're talking about things that may or may not leave you in tears, here are the Yays and Boos. They want to travel back and undo the time The Vow [review] was made. Now where's my flux capacitor...

I'll never forget when Dad sat me down and told me about Hufflepuff.

  • So, every Friday the family watches a movie together. One day...
  • The moment Tim's dad tells him about the gift. Get ready for spooky time.
  • Still having posters in your room? Could be a Boo. But when it's an Amelie poster? Total Yay.
  • Charlotte, the summer fling. It took me a second to realize that was Margot Robbie. We meet again. I really appreciated her line, It's a lot nicer...inside. 
  • There's a line that Tim says about his phone that is absolutely brilliant. If I ever needed a line to land a girl, that would be it (screw you, watch the movie).
  • Uncle Vernon is in this. And he's a total a-hole. It's great. R.I.P Richard Griffiths.
  • There is nothing like making fun of a girl you like, but when you are making fun of her job as a reader? It's too good. Especially the bit about the menu.
  • I'm not even attracted to McAdams, but when she says I'm going to go put on my new pajamas, then you come in and take them off, I'm pretty sure I changed my mind. Forever.
  • It opens from the front. Then after a quick trip back in time, You really know your bras.
  • Never has a movie made me want a ping pong table so badly. I'm so good without the ball!
  • Ladies, huddle up. Everyone listening? There's an important life lesson in this film. Seriously. That's how you plan a wedding. 
  • Speaking of, the best man tryouts were pretty awesome. I went with my cousin Tony, which I don't regret, but it might have nice to listen to some other speeches beforehand.
  • The real secrets to life and time travel are perfect. Live life normally. And, do days over again. But relax, knowing you're going to make it through.
  • When Uncle Desmond mentions what Dad said, and how it made him feel, that was a beautiful moment. Like, so beautiful that it almost killed me.
  • And finally, as sappy as it was, the ending was perfect. One last day, skipping stones? Sounds like what any guy would want to do with his Dad.

There's nothing more romantic than Diagon Alley at night.

  • That first date, in the dark, was a little too cutesy for my likings. Unless that wasn't really strawberry mousse in her eye. Then, it's my kind of party.
  • Oh, man. The New Year's Eve handshake.
  • What the Hell was with Dad's friend, Harry? That guy was a dick.
  • Speaking of, who cares about his play? I'm not risking her for him.
  • Rupert. What a dickhead.
  • I'm all for a perfectly lovely acoustic soundtrack, sure. But when it's performed with vigor by a bunch of dudes in the subway? Not a fan.
  • While we're talking about sucky people, what's up with her parents? Tim's a nice gent.
  • Okay, Kit Kat. What's your story? I think I like you, but I also really hate you, too.
  • McAdams' Mary is borderline annoying with her antics. But, I could tolerate it all, even her hair, until the wedding. Then, and only then, it was simply too much We're so young and weird! that I wanted to fight something.
  • Damn kids. They change everything. Even themselves.
  • And finally, Happy birthday, honey! I rented About T----Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Aw.
After watching About Time, I decided that I wanted to time travel, too. Honestly. But I wanted to go forward. See what lies ahead for me and my family. So, in the early hours of Sunday morning, I woke up, went to a dark corner of the room, balled up my hands and concentrated. 

And in the blink of an eye, my clock jumped ahead one full hour.

So this is that the future looks like...whoa.


  1. This is such a charmingly authentic review! Love it. I can't wait for this. My wife wants to see this one really bad too. Maybe this week we'll get on that.

    1. Thanks, man. I hope you guys like it. I'd say we did, but I'm not sure my wife is fully out of the coma she slipped into that night.

  2. Oh I loved Harry! Tom Hollander was hilarious, he was so funny in In the Loop, which I really hope you'll see sometime!

    I really liked this movie, Nighy was indeed wonderful, I loved how loving he was towards everyone and the choice of music for his character's funeral - it just felt so beautifully poetic.

    I wept during this one too, it was just such a poignant movie about the things that really matter. The Brits continue being responsible for the most heartwarming romantic comedies out there.

    1. Harry grew on me, but he was such a f--king the whole time. What the Hell was he so angry about?

      I keep flirting with In The Loop, it'll be soon. Um, I think.

      Nighy was the highlight in a pretty charming cast. His character was the kind of Dad I would like to be. He was just sooooo cool. I don't remember the music, but it's likely because my sobs were drowned it out.

      All hail the Brits and their dominance of heartwarming ensembles. Truly. America sadly just churns out stupid holiday movies like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day and fingers crossed, Arbor Day.

    2. Failed writers and middle aged men tend to be angry. I'm not a writer or a man, but at the rate my bitterness is going I'm gonna be a Disney villain when I reach his age :)

      In the Loop is freaking hysterical and he plays a very likable guy there :)

  3. Score!! Thanks for believing in me! I really loved this one and I cried, mostly for Nighy, who was super duper awesome.

    But the real reason I'm writing this... "I'll never forget when Dad sat me down and told me about Hufflepuff." YES. Great. Great review, so glad you got something in your eye.

    1. Hey, that was a solid list. Up next, might just be Frances Ha. We'll see....

      Oh man, Nighy. I was almost inconsolable at the end. My wife awoke and asked how it ended...and I was could barely make coherent sentences. What a wimp.

      I might have dropped one too many HP references, but if I see a magical ginger, I can't help myself.

  4. Loved the relationship with dad, the story with Rachel McAdams not so much. Quite enjoyed dad's friend Harry too.

    Overall, it was hit and miss to me. I thought of going in a dark room and travel back to see the movie one time, just in case it grows on me. But no, I decided otherwise. I time travel with plutonium and a Delorean.

    1. Apparently, I missed the boat on Harry. Guy seemed like a real prick. Perhaps a loveable one?

      Hey, no shame if you prefer a DeLorean to a closet. My favorite mode of time travel? It''s...yeah. Shit. It's DeLorean, too.