Tim Lake (by Domhnall Gleeson) feels he’s never been any good with getting to know girls … he’s awkward, self-conscious and just hopeless. One day, his dad (by Bill Nighy) shares a family secret with him … all the men in the family can travel back in time and relive any part of their own life they choose. Of course, Tim totally disregards this silly joke of his father’s – until he remembers a particularly disastrous incident recently with a girl at a New Year’s Eve Party, so he decides to give it a try. His second time at the party, thing goes far differently, much better – it works!! Now … what to do with this marvellous capability … of course, get a girlfriend!! Over the next few years, Tim moves from his home in Cornwall to London, gets a job in a law firm and finds himself somewhere to live. His attempts at finding the perfect one true love are fraught with challenges that even his super-power can’t overcome completely … is all lost? Surely the perfect girl is waiting out there somewhere … now, all he has to do is find her ….
This is one of those movies where you find yourself smiling all the way through. It’s a nicely made, British romantic comedy with all the traits of a good story and a quirky but utterly believable modern English family. Tim, himself, is one of a kind – and then we meet Tim’s totally off-beat Dad, played masterfully by Bill Nighy (as if he was made for that role), his utterly bizarre green-fingered Mum by Lindsay Duncan, who’s great; his hyper-active, off the wall sister Kit Kat, by Lydia Wilson; and his totally insane but loveable Uncle D by the wonderful Richard Cordery. The English county of Cornwall and city of London are used well to reflect the clear facets of Tim’s life – his hectic professional life, on dates, out to dinner, at the theatre, parties … that gives way to his most blissful time with his family. Tim’s character is beautifully balanced on screen by Rachel McAdams as Mary – an insecure, frenetic, American girl in London with very righteous, upstanding parents – she’s just believable. Of course, Tim has hapless friends too – the inimitable Rory by Joshua McGuire and Jay, by Will Merrick – to be seen to be believed. Also, we get cameos from Richard E. Grant and the late Richard Griffiths, which are treasures. It’s a nice, feel-good movie – with some lovely messages about life, truth and love. Because it’s by the same director, it’s very “Love Actually”, in a nice warm way. At the 2013 San Sebastián International Film Festival it won the Waki.TV Audience Award for Best European Film – well deserved for Richard Curtis.
Made in 2013. Directed by Richard Curtis.