In the Moment
The first surprise that I had last night was how full the theatre was. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been to a movie where finding a seat is a challenge. Had About Time, English film director Richard Curtis’s new film, received glowing reviews in The Gazette that I was unaware of? Was it just a case of just good word of mouth?
OK, Tuesday is discount night at the Cineplex, but I’ve been to the Forum many times on a Tuesday evening and enjoyed a film with only a handful of people in the theatre there with me.
The second surprise was the scattering of applause at the end of the film. Sure, About Time is what is called a “feel-good film”, but still…
Actually, although uncommon at screenings that are not part of a film festival, where the director, actors or producer are present to enjoy the appreciation of their work of art, I am not that surprised at the applause I heard at the end of About Time. This film spoke to what I think is a universal value about which I will tackle a little bit later.
I had a challenge choosing the film. My first choice, Blue is the Warmest Colour, I would save for when my wife is in town. At www.rottentomatoes.com, About Time had a 65% rating among over a hundred movie reviewers but an 84% rating among viewers – us average folk warming the chairs. Using my Scene card to purchase the ticket over the Internet, the ticket would cost me only $6.07.
I went home after work, made and wolfed down a quick cheese omelet, and rushed downtown through thick and lumbering rue Côte-des-Neiges traffic, and grabbed the last seat in the room.
I will spare you the implausible conceit of the film which, happily, was done sensitively and in good taste but, okay, revolves around time travel. Its romantic arc is sprinkled with plenty of comedy and I was chuckling throughout the film. The characters in the movie are so good but the Brits do good so much better and believably than Americans and the music was very decent as well.
What I think really delighted the audience is the moral of the story, not very subtly conveyed, mind you, that one should try to enjoy life in the moment, all the small and insignificant moments that add up to a life; to be grateful, in short. This is something anyone can relate to, anyone, I guess, who is not totally miserable. The main character in the story does not get corrupted using his time travel abilities, everyone is really good and happy, (well, one character is always miserable) and it makes us feel good, we who perhaps do not have such a wonderful life, to also think about what it means to be alive and how good it can be to appreciate the big and small, the everyday moments of being alive.
Not much really happens in the film plot-wise but it is a far better film for this reason. It is a movie about discovering the joy of relationships and of being alive so everyone left the theatre feeling really good last night.