2 out of 10

Release Date: 6th September 2013

Director: Richard Curtis (The Boat That Rocked / Love Actually)

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Margot Robbie, Joshua McGuire, Will Merrick, Richard Cordery, Vanessa Kirby, Lisa Eichhorn, Mitchell Mullen, Tom Hughes, Catherine Steadman, Pal Aron and Tom Hollander with Richard E. Grant and Richard Griffiths

Writer: Richard Curtis


To be proofread: This film made me want to scribble on pictures of kittens and spit at puppies.  So cute and manipulative and soppy was Richard Curtis’ About Time I wanted to puke.  Now I usually like Richard Curtis, I have a high sucrose tolerancy and just about got through Love Actually. The buffoonery of The Boat That Rocked also made that quite appealing. His jobs as writer for hire have also hit many of UK cinemas comedic highs like The Tall Guy and Four Weddings and a Funeral, so why oh why did I find About Time so f*cking loathsome.  It was just a fake, insincere hand shake of a movie. A limp fish that has half committed to an idea and just shrugs its way through to the end of it’s 2 hour obligation to the cinema going public.

Ginger bore Tim (DOMHNALL GLEESON – ANNA KARENINA) thoroughly squanders an inherited, genetic gift to travel back in time by trying to find the love of his life. This way he can archly manipulate bad situations by going back and correcting embarrassing faux-pas.  His victim is plain jane Mary (RACHEL MCADAMS – THE NOTEBOOK) whom he gets onside, marries, impregnates and bores everyone to death by failing to do anything vaguely irresponsible, naughty or remotely interesting or intriguing with his gift. The whole film is the same as well. It doodles around in Richard Curtis’ comfort zones to increasingly diluted effect.  Bill Nighy (VALKYRIE), as Tim’s father, leads a reasonable supporting cast made up of the usual procession of privileged luvvies playing posh hits who were their eccentricities on their shoulders like cute animals. Tim’s sister Kat (LYDIA WILSON) is a prime example of a failed attempt at whimsy then later depth.  There’s nothing wrong with Wilson’s or anyone’s acting, al the lame should sit on Curtis’ doorstep. The rest of the characters are unbelievable idiots and savants – that aren’t even good value comedy wise. Every funny line just dies in mid air in front of their stupid acting faces – step forward Joshua McGuire and Richard Cordery as thick and ugly best friend, and dimwitted uncle respectively.

The plot is dopey, the writing and script is unadventurous and it’s a sad waste considering how funny Curtis can be. The actors do their best but it’s an uphill struggle in the face of an avalacnhe of maudlin treacle.  The descent into sadness and last chances rings utterly hollow in light of everything that’s gone before. Anybody that falls for this trap is pretty undemanding when it comes to their choice of entertainment (not a bad thing in general – just if you’re a film fan).

2 out of 10 – An completely frightful exercise in being force fed hallmark greeting cards spread with a thick layer of strawberry jam and Branston pickle.  Stodgy, too sweet, too practical adn the worst sin of all – too boring. What has become of large scale British cinema? Burp! (Anyone else think the poster looks like Rachel McAdams is about to puke!)?


  • Domhnall Gleeson: Star Wars 8, The Revenant, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Frank, Calvary, Shadow Dancer, DreddAnna Karenina (2012), True Grit (2011), Never Let Me Go, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2
  • Rachel McAdams: Dr Strange, A Most Wanted Man, Passion (2012), To The Wonder, The Vow, Sherlock Holmes 2, Midnight In Paris, Morning Glory, Sherlock Holmes (2009), The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Lucky Ones, State Of Play, The Family Stone, Red Eye, Wedding Crashers, The Notebook, Mean Girls, The Hot Chick
  • Bill Nighy: Dad’s Army, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pride (2014), I Frankenstein, The World’s End (voice), Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall (2012), Wrath Of The Titans, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Arthur Christmas (voice), Chalet Girl, Rango (voice), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows- part 1, Wild Target (2010), Glorious 39, The Boat That Rocked, Underworld 3, Valkyrie, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3, Hot Fuzz, Notes On a Scandal, Flushed Away (voice), Alex Rider- Stormbreaker, Pirates Of The Caribbean 2, Underworld 2, The Constant Gardner, A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2006), The Magic Roundabout (voice), Enduring Love, Shaun Of The Dead, Underworld, Love Actually, State Of Play (TV), I Capture The Castle, Auf Wierdesen Pet! (TV), The Lost Prince, Lucky Break, The Lawless Heart, Blow Dry, Guest House Paradiso, Still Crazy, Alive and Kicking (1996), Being Human, True Blue
  • Lindsay Duncan: Birdman, The Last PassengerLe Week-End, Alice In Wonderland (2010), Starter For 10, Rome (TV), Under The Tuscan Sun, Mansfield Park (1999), An Ideal Husband, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996), A Year In Provence (TV), GBH (TV), The Reflecting Skin, Prick Up Your Ears, Kit Curran (TV)
  • Margot Robbie: Suicide Squad, Suite Francaise, Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street, Neighbours (TV)
  • Will Merrick: Skins (TV)
  • Vanessa Kirby: Everest, Queen & CountryThe Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, The Rise
  • Tom Hughes: 8 Minutes IdleI Am Soldier, Cemetery Junction, Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll
  • Lisa Eichhorn: Moon 44, Cutter’s Way
  • Catherine Steadman: Outpost 2, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Hippie Hippie Shake, The Inbetweeners (TV)
  • Pal Aron: Twenty8K, The Bill (TV), Casualty (TV), Coronation Street (TV)
  • Tom Hollander: Mission Impossible 5, The Riot Club, The Invisible WomanByzantium, Rev (TV), Hanna, The Soloist, In The Loop, Elizabeth- The Golden Age, Pirates Of The Caribbean- parts 2 & 3, Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Libertine, Paparazzi, Stage Beauty, Possession, Gosford Park, The Lawless Heart, Enigma, Maybe Baby, The Clandestine Marriage, Bedrooms and Hallways, Martha- Meets Frank Daniel and Laurence, True Blue, Some Mother’s Son
  • Richard E Grant: Game of Thrones (TV), Queen & Country, Dom Hemingway, The Iron Lady, Horrid Henry, Love Hurts, CuckooHow To Stop Being a Loser, Penelope, Garfield 2 (voice), Corpse Bride (voice), Wah-Wah (dir), Tooth, Bright Young Things, Gosford Park, The Little Vampire, The Match, Spice World, Food Of Love, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, The Serpent’s Kiss, Twelfth Night (1996), The Portrait of a Lady, Jack & Sarah, Pret-a-Porter, The Age Of Innocence, Dracula (1992), The Player, Hudson Hawk, LA Story, Henry & June, Mountains Of The Moon, Warlock, How To Get Ahead In Advertising, Hidden City, Withnail & I
  • Richard Griffiths: Private Peaceful, Hugo, Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, Harry Potter- parts 1,2,3,5,7, The History Boys, Venus, Stage Beauty, Sleepy Hollow, Funny Bones, Guarding Tess, Blame It On The Bellboy, King Ralph, Naked Gun 2.5, Withnail & I, Shanghai Surprise, A Private Function, Greystoke- Tarzan, Gorky Park, Gandhi

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