Richard Curtis’ new film About Time — out Nov. 8 — stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young Englishman who discovers that he can travel through time, just like his dad (Bill Nighy). But the director, who has written such rom-com classics as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, as well as directing Love Actually (the cinematic equivalent to a supergroup), insists that he hasn’t switched genres completely.
“It’s actually an anti-time-travel time-travel movie,” he says with a laugh. But how could this be? “You’ll understand once you see it,” he promises. “It’s really a philosophical movie — what if you had one day to live? You wouldn’t want to try to win an Oscar or get an Olympic gold medal. You’d live a normal day: You’d have breakfast with your kids and lunch with your friends and dinner with someone you love. This film is about what matters in time. And it turns out, in my opinion, to be the most ordinary of things.”
It was this thinking that helped Curtis come to the realization that About Time will more than likely be the last film he directs.
“That’s how I’m feeling at the moment and that’s certainly how I went into making [About Time],” he says. “Perhaps that’s the best way to go into things — like it’s your last. In a funny way, the message of the movie is to relish the day … to relish your life. And I felt like perhaps I should take my own advice. This is the time to do all the things that the movie describes.”
But don’t worry: Curtis will continue to write and work on other projects. In fact, when we spoke with him he was in Brazil to work on Trash, a film that will be directed by Stephen Daldry and stars Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen.
Watch the trailer for About Time below: