Romance lovers and Richard Curtis superfans, rejoice! The writer-director who turned you into a weepy puddle with Love Actually and got you stuck saying “oopsie daises” after Notting Hill is back. And Curtis’ latest film, About Time, delivers a sweet take on an unusual subject: time travel.
Starring frequent Curtis collaborator, Bill Nighy, frequent time travel subject, Rachel McAdams, and newcomer Domhnall Gleeson, About Time is the perfect fall movie dessert after some devastating (yet important!) entrees (Gravity, Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave). It’s been a stressful month at the movies, so we welcome a heartfelt release and adorable British accents. (Edit note: we welcome British accents year-round, too.) For everything you need to know about the film, check out our helpful list of talking points, below.
1. Domhnall Gleeson shares your taste in movies.
What responsible actor wouldn’t familiarize himself with his costar’s work? And what kind of human iceberg can withstand The Notebook without shedding a tear?
2. It’s a time travel movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s science-fiction.In the words of Nighy, About Time is “low-fi.” There are no gadgets or contraptions required, and the characters are not venturing back, back, way back to the Crusades or the Victorian Era. “I was grateful that you didn’t have to wear difficult clothing or get into a machine, speak in ancient tongues,” he told VH1. Rather than cheat space and time, the crux of the film is about revisiting moments from your past–or playing your cards right to craft an ideal future–with the people you love.
3. Bill Nighy and director Richard Curtis are old friends.About Time is the fourth collaboration between Nighy and Curtis, whose previous work includes: Love Actually (2003), the made for television movie The Girl in the Cafe (2006), and 2009’s The Boat That Rocked. “It’s a very good day when a script from Richard comes through,” Nighy said. “I treasure our association and he writes great parts for me.” Even if he makes you get naked and sing live on Christmas Eve, Bill?
4. Domhnall Gleeson is your new favorite ginger.
In his first leading role, Gleeson is undeniably cute as Tim, an ambitious lawyer who moves away from the family nest to start a life of his own in London. While a job and a place to live are important, what he really wants is a girlfriend. That convenient family secret comes in handy when he needs to build his confidence, and is essential when he comes across the woman of his dreams (McAdams). Modest to a fault, Gleeson is a convincing romantic lead in that boy-from-your-English-class sort of way. As an actor, talent runs through his blood: Domhnall’s father is Irish actor Brendan Gleeson. The two worked together in 2010’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (Domhnall as Bill Weasley; Brendan reprising his role as Mad-Eye Moody). Also, Domhnall is a-dorable (we feel the need to emphasize this).
5. Rachel McAdams is yet again relegated to the present day.After starring in The Time Traveler’s Wife and Midnight In Paris, this is her third (count ’em!) time travel movie–and the third time travel movie in which she doesn’t get to have any fun. McAdams plays Mary, the Kate Moss-obsessed American object of young Tim’s affection. It takes more than one first impression to get things just right, and when they do, we see their love blossom over many years. Neither Mary nor any of the women in the Lake family have any knowledge of their loved ones’ time traveling, which puts them at an awkward disadvantage and creates several unbalanced relationships. “I’ve now done three films with time travel in them and I’ve not gotten to time travel once so I’m kind of bitter about that,” McAdams told the AAP. “[But] I think it just made it all a little smoother that not everyone was allowed to know.” Fourth time’s a charm, RM.
6. It’ll make you cry over a Ben Folds song.Were you waiting until the return of NBC’s The Sing-Off to care about Ben Folds again? His version of the “The Luckiest” for the film’s soundtrack will change that.
7. Table tennis is important.
Understanding that children often bond with their fathers over sports, Tim and his dad’s unique relationship plays out through countless games of table tennis. So how much “acting” went into those impressive displays of athleticism?
8. Cornwall is beautiful.Specifically the Roseland Peninsula, the location of Tim’s childhood home. Forget Bali or Bora Bora. We want our next vacation to be anywhere along the idyllic English coastline.
9. The film takes a renewed interest in Kate Moss.
10. It’s all about fathers and sons.
About Time is the story of Tim Lake (Gleeson) and his father (Nighy), who share a special bond and the unique ability to travel through time. It’s something that runs through the men in their family, and this well-kept secret only draws them closer as years go by. While the actors may not have drawn from personal experiences, it helps that they both seem to love their fathers. Speaking of… have you called your dad recently? You should call your dad. Have you hugged your dad lately? Get on it. Have you told your dad you love him? DO IT NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
About Time opens in limited release on November 1 and everywhere on November 8.
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]