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 About Time (Uma Questão de Tempo) 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 (for instance, all the female characters are oblivious playthings for their male counterparts to manipulate with their extratemporal abilities).