Monday, November 18, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: About Time

2013, Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Pirate Radio) -- cinema

As we came into the theatre, J commented on the obvious demographic for this movie. There were about three men, probably all my age. The rest were women covering all range of ages, from the teenage girls next to us to the grey hairs sitting below us. As we were leaving the theatre, J commented, "That was not a chick flick, that was a movie for guys, about a guy's relationship with his dad." She was so very right.

Tim and his family live in Cornwall, in a very large house, in an idyllic life where his dad reads books all day long (having retired happily at 50) and everyone has tea on the beach, every day. On New Year's Eve Tim's father explains to him the family secret -- that every male can travel in time. Just stand in the dark, scrunch your hands together and envision the time you want to be in. And poof, you are there. You can also come back to the starting point and see the product of anything you may have changed. But this isn't a time travel movie, with very little told about the rules and ramifications; in fact his dad says that they seem to not have much impact on big things, and can only affect their own lives. The key point is what Tim will use it for, what he will change to make his life better.

And that is what this movie is about. It is a lovely lovely movie about making your life what you want it to be. Or being happy with the life you make for yourself. Tim knows he has to be with Mary, from the first moment he meets her. So, he goes back and back and back until he gets it right. It doesn't make his life perfect but it does teach him about how so many little circumstances of life are important and it is what you make of them that defines your life. Platitudes belonging on Instagrams, I know, and I am somewhat bitter that it takes a man with the ability to time travel to learn this, but I still cannot help but love this movie. Its a sweet confection when so many movies are strong tasting and often bitter. And I actually liked every character in the movie, which is so hard to say these days.

Bonus Paragraph: The love story angle actually seems to take second place to his constant visits to chat with his dad. This is a family that really loves each other and are not afraid to show it. And when Tim realizes it may not be a rule to it, a consequence crops up to impact his visits back to his dad. And the scenes where they spend their last few days together are beautiful and heartbreaking. As someone who has lost his father, this is the part that made me come out of the theatre misty eyed. I wouldn't have minded the chance to use time travel to have a better relationship with him.