While Kevin and I were at the beach last weekend with our pal Bethany, we watched lots of movies — all of which were really, really great. Austenland, with Keri Russell (Felicity, for those of you in my age group) and Bret McKenzie (of Flight of the Conchords), was delightful. This Is The End, featuring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Emma Watson, and more (all as hilarious versions of themselves) was one we laughed our way through. And then there was About Time — a movie that appeared to be a run-of-the-mill rom com based on the cover art, but one we got on a friend of a friend’s recommendation. (I mean, come on. This SCREAMS cheesy girl movie, am I right?):
In fact? It. Was. Awesome.
Bethany and I watched this one alone (Kevin called it a night a bit earlier than we did) and sobbed our way through it*. (*I actually did tear up at the end, and I very rarely cry during movies.)
I should have known this movie had potential, though. After all, it’s from the director of one of my faves, Love Actually, and stars Rachel McAdams, who I tend to love (she gets a pass for The Time Traveler’s Wife — it was just a poorly executed film version of an incredible book!). Domhnall Gleeson (who Harry Potter fans will recognize as Bill Weasley) plays Tim, the male lead, and Bill Nighy shines as his father. What I learned (thanks to IMDB’s fun facts) after watching the movie was that originally Zooey Deschanel was slated to play the female lead. Thank GOODNESS Rachel ended up as Mary, because I know I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much had Zooey’s grating wide-eyed quirkiness been front and center throughout the film.
So that’s how I feel about Zooey Deschanel — yes, even in the New Girl era, although I do love me some Schmidt. (Focus on About Time, Anna.)
It’s a movie about time travel. But wait! Even if you’re typically not into the fantastical I think you’ll like this. Because, ultimately, this is a movie about family. About love. About learning to savor the seemingly everyday-ness of our lives — no matter how many times we get to experience each day.
The story is beautiful, the soundtrack is spot-on, and the cast is captivating. It’s all-around lovely, and the fact that it’s set in England doesn’t hurt, as far as I’m concerned.
When I say I’ve added this film to my favorite movie list, I mean that it’s one I’d like to watch a couple of times a year. It’s one of those movies with such a good message that after you’ve watched it you feel motivated to be aware of the beauty that is life — even when it’s a typical Tuesday. To me, movies like this are like chiropractic adjustments in that sometimes you didn’t know you were misaligned until you realize how much straighter you’re standing and how great you feel afterward.
This movie came at a good time for me, because I’ve found myself frustrated with the mundane lately. I’ve been worried about whether I’ll ever achieve something especially memorable or big, and this film was a perfect reminder that my life — just as it is — is so very good. It may not be noteworthy in many ways, but it’s also packed full of incredible people and experiences and opportunities. As Walt Whitman said, “I have learned that to be with those I love is enough.” About Time reminded me of how very true that is.
Who should watch About Time? It’s a movie for just about anyone, I’d say. If you’re someone who enjoyed Love Actually, give this one a shot, and let me know what you think! (NOTE: Kevin and I watched it last night — his first time seeing it — and it’s now Kevin Keller endorsed as well. His comment: “Yet another example of how the British are killing it at making awesome and meaningful romantic comedies.” My thoughts exactly. Keep it up, Britain.)