I mean, it’s 2013. Isn’t it time that women were given more to do that look decorative?
With her supernaturally perfect teeth and her excruciatingly adorable bangs, the truth is McAdams is too cute for words and too dull for them too. Curtis’ script rarely gives her more to do than look nice in a tight dress or be the object of affection that completes Gleeson’s character Tim, who ages from 21 to 28 as the film progresses.
As the film moves along it becomes more and more disturbing how little the women have to do, since they’re constantly overshadowed by the men. In fact the real love story, the one that proves the most moving and memorable, is the one between Tim and his terminally ill father (played flawlessly by the remarkable Bill Nighy).
Hilariously, only the men in the family in "About Time" have the power to time travel and re-do events to get a desired result. We’re never told why this is so. Perhaps because in the world of this film the women are configured and reconfigured so that the men can manipulate them.
But it starts to get a little objectionable, all this time tinkering. It starts to feel like the women are having their choices made for them before they even know they’ve been stitched up.
Even more hilarious is the way in which the men time travel in the film. To go back to the past (whether it’s an hour ago or a year ago) they step into a closet and they just close the door. It’s like coming out in reverse.
But instead of announcing a change, or making any kind of statement, they actually do it to keep their secrets and let no one else in on them ever.
So for all its surface romance there’s something more than a bit off about "About Time." Audiences will probably eat it up by the spoonful, but I thought it presented one of the most depressingly reductive views of women I’ve seen in a film this year.
That it’s saved at all is due to Gleeson’s sterling work, which lends the piece all the sweetness and sincerity it possesses.
"About Time" opens November 1. Here's the official trailer: