About Time: New York Film Festival 2013

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New York Film Festival 2013: About Time

New York Film Festival 2013: About Time


Awkward young Brit Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) wants nothing more than to meet the love of his life. American expat Mary (Rachel McAdams) fits that bill perfectly. So far, so rom-com formulaic, but there’s a wrinkle: Like all the men in his family, Tim can travel through time, allowing him to correct any slipups. Writer-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually) has fun setting up the high-concept premise; in an early scene, patriarch Bill Nighy hilariously explains the ins and outs of their special ability, which relies on clenched fists as opposed to flux capacitors. It’s not too long, though, before the film turns into a treacly male weepie, with several facepalm-worthy music cues (Gus Van Sant’s Gerry excepted, it’s time to retire Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel” now, filmmakers) and some truly icky gender politics (all the female characters are oblivious playthings for their male counterparts to manipulate with extratemporal abilities). This is one of those dreadful NYFF titles that makes you wonder why it was included. Click for showtimes.—Keith Uhlich

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