Jonathan Melville: Director Curtis goes out on a low

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FORGET Richard Curtis’ latest effort being the feel-good hit of the summer. I’ve rarely felt worse coming out of the cinema and never so angry at wasted potential.

This time travel romantic comedy manages to not only fluff the time travel element, but also set back romantic comedies by 20 years as it ‘borrows’ the best elements of 1993’s Groundhog Day and mangles them along the way.

Richard Curtis. Pic: PA

Richard Curtis. Pic: PA

Domhnall Gleeson is Tim, a charisma-free individual from a privileged background whose sole aim in life is to get a girlfriend. Luckily, Tim is imbued with the power to time travel by standing in a cupboard. Rachel McAdams is the unlucky lady whose life is twisted to Tim’s will as he continually nips back in time to force her to say yes to him.

That’s about it for the plot, with some typically odd Curtis characters added to the mix, including an uncle who seemingly has mental health issues (an excuse for cheap laughs typical of other Curtis productions) and a self-destructive sister forgotten about until late on in the film.

Anyone looking for a fun time travel romp will be sorely disappointed, mainly because none of it makes sense. The changes Tim makes give him exactly the results he wants, rather than what the film’s internal logic might suggest, cheating the audience of any drama.

About Time may only be two hours long, but it felt like a lifetime. The longer I spent in the company of Tim and his dull family and friends, the more I wanted to travel back in time to stop Curtis writing the script.

The film’s sole redeeming feature is a cameo from the late Richard Griffiths, but it’s not enough to save it. Avoid this one and watch Groundhog Day instead.