About Family, Love and Life: ‘About Time’ Film Review


It’s been years since a little film About Time made its mark at the cinema. Since then, I’ve seen people talk about it, and most recently, an author who I follow on Instagram mentioned it. After starting the film months (literally) ago, finally I sat down and watched the “second half” of the nearly two-hour dramedy. In light of this I thought I’d sit down and share some of the thoughts this film inspires.

About Time (2013) Film Review

The story follows Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), a 21-year-old living in a family who has always been a bit of an odd quintet of people. There’s his no-nonsense mum (Lindsay Duncan); uncle Desmond, a man with immaculate suits; his retired professor father (Billy Nighy); and then there’s KitKat (Lydia Wilson), Tim’s colorful and slightly unhinged sister. This summer, Tim finds himself in some kind of love with the beautiful Charlotte, the cousin of Kat’s terrible boyfriend, the pair of whom happen to be staying with Tim’s family for the summer.

Time passes, and nothing comes of this interest, and as Tim works to become a lawyer, he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams). Somewhat of an insecure beauty, Mary works at a publishing house. Their meeting goes a little wrong, which inspires Tim to re-live it… which he can do as a man with a genetic gene that allows him to re-live any past day of his own life.

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There’s something truly compelling about this film. My personal opinion is that it’s flawed. But the flaws don’t affect the larger story which is one of family, love and the ability to live each of life’s days to their fullest. There’s something unique about the way this story plays out, which isn’t a new concept; or perhaps it’s the supreme talent of the cast.

About Family, Love and Life: ‘About Time’ Film Review. Thoughts on the 2013 drama with Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. #Movies #WhattoWatch #Romance Click To Tweet

In addition to those who operate as the “main cast,” Tom Hollander; Margot Robbie; Vanessa Kirby; and Tom Hughes (ITV’s Victoria) also co-star. To say nothing of this group of talent, the primary cast is wonderful. I like Rachel McAdams in nearly anything I’ve seen her in and it’s nice to see Gleeson (Brooklyn, Peter Rabbit) in something else as well. Though everyone is impressive, what is perhaps the best surprise is seeing Lydia Wilson as Kat from ITV’s The Making of a Lady.

Despite its impressive cast and unique production (like a rained-out wedding or cute date nights), perhaps the most important part of About Time is its message. The story of a man who wants to give those he loves the best, most perfect on earth life he can is charming, and speaks of a man who loves deeply. That said, as he cruelly learns, this isn’t how life’s meant to be. We have to face our mistakes. Life will give us pain. We will have to make tough choices. But it’s in the in-between that happiness waits.

In the end, it’s this message that resonates most, and it’s what Tim learns on his own rather than what he does that makes the greater impact. If you like something like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Carrie Pilby, Love Rosie or really anything that’s not a comedy, but not a hardcore drama, this film may be your cup of tea. Its equal parts bittersweet and funny, romantic and heartwarming. It’s just one of those “cozy movies” that despite its few lows, ultimately makes you feel good.


About Family Love and Life: ‘About Time’ Film Review. Thoughts on the 2013 drama with Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. Text © Rissi JC

Content: The R-rating is primarily for several f-words along with other commonplace “PG-13” profanity. There’s suggestive content, and some sexuality; but again, the primary reason for the rating is adult language.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this film, which is a favourite of mine too… everything about it just works so beautifully well together, from the brilliant chemistry between the actors, to that adorable first date scene, one of the best portrayals of a father-son relationship I’ve seen on screen, and finally two of the most heart-tugging montages ever.

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