A Movie Review: About Time

The title of this blog is not out to suggest that I’m long overdue to write a movie review, but that’s the movie’s title is in fact, About Time.

About-Time-2013-Movie-PosterJulie and I went to the movies this evening. Yep, a school night, turned date night. we were fortunate to score free tickets to see the movie About Time courtesy of an AMC Stubs Reward offer Julie received in an email. She was able to secure tickets to screen the movie before its release on November 8th. A free date night? Sure why not?

According to IMDB.com and RottenTomatoes.com the plot is this: At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all.

Director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) does a great job balancing the humor with the movie’s life lessons. About Time features Domhnall Gleeson (Tim) and Rachel McAdams (Mary) as the leads, and they do a wonderful job playing the role of the couple basked in the warm blanket of true love. Domhnall Gleeson (Formerly Ron Weasley’s older brother for all the Harry Potter fans out there) plays the nervously awkward Englishman perfectly and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) nails the insecure American girl next door with her charm and beautiful smile. This is a very sweet story. It’s funny and heartbreaking, and without giving away too many spoilers, I expected someone to die in this movie to challenge Tim’s morality. The real question I found myself thinking was who was going to die and when, and I found myself waiting with nervous anticipation for the other shoe to drop. The movie does get you wondering about how you’d live each day of your life it you knew you’d got a continuous mulligan to do it all over again until it’s right. Even better, how you’d manipulate this time travel gift to see old relatives that passed on, or maybe relive that one true first kiss. But this is Hollywood. There is no time travel for us in the real world. We don’t get the opportunity to go back and hold hands again after our soul mate leaves us for the evening. I tend to not to like movies like this. Because of the jealousy I feel about the notion that someone, somewhere got to spend some additional time with someone they lost. Yes, I know this isn’t real, but good movies gets us to believe and transport us to a new reality where anything is possible. In the end, I enjoyed this movie.

The official movie trailer says it best:

What if you could relive any moment until it was perfect?
Some days you’ll want to relive forever. Some days you’ll only want to live once.
We can’t fix everything. Not without consequences.
Ultimately this it’s a story about love. About life. And about time.
I never know what the future holds, just like everyone else.
Time catches up to all of us.
I try to live everyday, as if it were the final day of my extraordinary ordinary life.

On or after November 8th go see About Time. Be prepared to laugh, bring with you an open mind, suspend disbelief of time travel, and tuck some Kleenex into your pocket. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you’ll need it.

*Disclaimer: I did not receive additional compensation to review this movie by AMC Stubs or Universal Studios. As always, these opinions are my own.

6th Grade Life Lesson

photo(3)It’s the early 80’s and I am a student in Mrs. Reddinger’s 6th grade class at Wiley Elementary school in Utica, Michigan. It was actually my second time having her as a teacher. As a lone 5th grader I pushed into her 6th grade class to have all my reading lessons with the big kids. I always felt in way over my head when I went to her class as a 5th grader. Not in academics but in maturity, though I couldn’t articulate it at the time. The kids were bigger, they had clicks, girls had crushes, and I was lost. I did my reading lessons and then quickly returned to the safety of Mrs. Ensley’s class. By the time I got to 6th grade Mrs. Reddinger knew me and I was not surprised that I was placed in her class. (Though I would have rather of had Mr. Hardy.)

During my 6th grade year at parent teacher conferences, Mrs. Reddinger had collected a sampling of my spelling papers and homework assignments to show my Mother. I had a knack for drawing on everything. Homework and tests were not exempt. It seems that Mrs. Reddinger did not appreciate seeing Pacman gobbling up pellets around the perimeter of the page, or Jokey Smurf handing a soon-to-be exploding present to an unsuspecting Brainy Smurf. You see, during the parent teacher conferences she showed these papers to my mother and said… “Joey is always drawing. Joey will never go anywhere in life if he doesn’t focus on his schoolwork. He spends to much time drawing on his papers. He could stand to draw less.”

Almost 30 years later and I can still remember that feeling of utter shock.

Here’s this teacher that I had in the 5th grade, and now have full-time in the 6th grade telling my Mom I need to draw less? Really? I don’t remember my mom’s response, but I have to assume she didn’t agree because I don’t remember getting in trouble that day. I got my work done, and got decent grades. I was a good student that yes could of had benefited with a bit more focus, but can’t that be said for most 6th graders? I never understood why as a teacher she would risk smashing a students passion. I often think back to how different my life would be had I listened to her.

I have lots of friends, family and acquaintances that are exceptional teachers and are champions to kids whether they are on the clock or not. Unfortunately not all teachers are. My son Aaron knows this first hand. He’s in the 6th grade and is a bundle of energy, he’s a quick study, sings constantly, loves music, and plays the Viola and practices religiously. He recently had a choice to make. A choice that was made easier by the unfortunate comments of a teacher, and I’m glad he’s not letting these comments keep him down. It’s uncanny how history repeats.

“Joey is always drawing. Joey will never go anywhere in life if he doesn’t focus on his schoolwork. He spends to much time drawing on his papers. He could stand to draw less.” I could have easily have listened to Mrs. Reddinger and stopped drawing, but spending to much time drawing on my papers gave me confidence to draw more, which eventually led me to graduate from one of the finest art colleges in the country. I draw daily. Paint. Create. And now own my own marketing and advertising company with one of my very best friends. I’d say Mrs. Reddinger was wrong.