About Time Parent Guide
The maturing of the characters and the storyline make "About Time" worthy of your time. But the content issues make this movie difficult to recommend for teens and adults.
Parent Movie Review
On Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) eighteenth birthday, his father (Bill Nighy) sits him down to have a “big talk.” Yet whatever conversation the awkward teen thought he was about to have, that is not what his Dad tells him. Instead, his parent explains that the men in their family have an unusual gift. They have the ability to go back in time—although just in their own lives.
At first doubtful, then excited, Tim experiments with this new-found power and finds he is able to return and correct silly mistakes, take advantage of missed opportunities and smooth over embarrassing moments. As a bashful young adult, most of his concentration is on his relationships with girls and improving his experiences in bed. This plot focus made me wonder if the title of the movie shouldn’t have been, “About Sex”.
As he goes along, Tim discovers he can’t always keep his present if he wants to change his past. This realization is particularity painful one night when he meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), the girl of his dreams. That same evening he has reason to travel back in time to help a friend, but in so doing he erases their encounter. This sets off a series of desperate attempts, where Tim ping-pongs back and forth through time, trying to meet Mary again.
As his love life settles down, so does the urge to reconstruct the past. Still, unforeseen events and tragedies tempt him to try periodically. As Tim’s understanding of the consequences of his time tinkering increases, the more reluctant he becomes to use what now feels more like a curse than a blessing.
About this point in the film, the father and son have another talk. This time the exchange is poignant as the two discuss the lessons they have learned over their remarkable lives. Interestingly, the insights they share about making the most of each moment are also very applicable to those of us who lead ordinary existences.
It is this maturing in both the characters and the storyline that may make About Time worthy of your time. It is just unfortunate that the script has to include so many sexual expletives and profanities. That, along with frequent sexual dialogue, implied sexual activity and depictions of injuries from a car accident, makes it difficult to give this movie a recommendation for teen and adult viewing. If only I could go back in time and remove the offensive content…Directed by Richard Curtis. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander. Running time: 124 minutes. Theatrical release November 1, 2013. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is About Time rated R? About Time is rated R by the MPAA for language and some sexual content.
Violence: An abusive relationship is implied. A car accident is depicted and the survivor is shown with various injuries.
Sexual Content: Frequent sexual dialogue, references and crude comments are heard. Sexual activity is implied, and the pregnancy of an unwed woman is announced. Male characters ogle scantily dressed females.Breast nudity is seen in artsy photographs of a female model.
Language: A sexual expletive is frequently used in non-sexual contexts. Profanity, cursing, scatological slang and terms of Deity are also abundant.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink in social settings, and when facing disappointments.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for About Time after the break...
About Time Parents' Guide
What do Tim and his father learn as they travel in time? Does their unusual ability make them more or less careful about the way they spend time in the first place? What would you do if you had this gift?
The most recent home video release of About Time movie is February 4, 2014. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: About Time
Release date: 4 February 2014
About Time releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Feature Commentary: With Director Richard Curtis and Cast Members Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, Lydia Wilson and Tom Hollander.
- Deleted Scenes: With Introductions by Director Richard Curtis
- Blooper Reel: Making Movies is a Serious Business
- The “Luckiest” Music
- Ellie Goulding “How Long Will I Love You?” Music Video
- About Tim and Time Travel
- The Look – Style and Locations
- The World of Richard Curtis
Related home video titles:
In Groundhog Day another man eventually tries to perfect his life after he gets caught in a time warp that has him reliving the same 24 hours over and over again. And in The Time Traveler’s Wife (also starring Rachel McAdams), a man’s ability to move through the past and future tests his present relationship with his spouse.