Sometimes there’s nothing better than indulging in a top-notch comfort film when you’re feeling down – films have the power to heal and restore. For me, the best comfort films are British romantic comedies. Not the cheesy cliché rom-coms which dominated the early 2000’s, but rather the light-hearted romantic comedies that make you feel warm and fuzzy. The kind of films that pull at your heart strings and still give you hope, ones that aren’t afraid to be deep and vulnerable, which is an honest depiction of life.
For that reason, my all-time comfort film is About Time (2013), a British romantic comedy that follows the romantic and socially clumsy character of Tim Lake, who learns from his father that he possesses the ability to travel back in time and relive past events. In learning the family secret, Tim begins to take advantage of this power to improve his love-life, fixing the mistakes he makes along the way. As Tim moves to London, he meets the shy but flirtatious Mary, and uses his abilities to win her heart.
Directed and written by the brilliant Richard Curtis, who’s well known for his portfolio of British Romantic Comedies – including Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Love Actually (2003) and Yesterday (2019) – and with a terrific performance from a star-studded cast, including Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, and Margot Robbie, you simply can’t help but fall in love with the charming and endearing storyline of this film, as well as the collection of lovable characters you’ll meet along the way. One cannot go without mentioning the Cornish coast and London settings that make this film feel like a British love-story through and through – and the therapeutic soundtrack is simply perfect in convincing you to feel all the emotions.
While this film is literally ‘about time’, it’s a little bit about everything: love and loss, family and relationships, growing up and growing old, as well as the happiness and hardships of life. It’s down-to-earth, yet still has a little bit of drama, fantasy, and adventure. But most of all, it’s a heart-warming and wholesome film that explores the opportunities we are given in our short lives, teaching us to make the most of the time we have. There are many important life lessons for the audience such as seizing opportunities, spending time with your loved ones, and appreciating the mundane and the ordinary-everyday – this film will even convince you to appreciate a rainy day.
A film about love and life and loving life, its positive spin will raise your spirits, connect you to the world around you, encourage you to change your perspective on life, and inspire you to live.
(PS: You’ll most likely want to watch this film on a rainy day, snuggled up under a blanket with a hot chocolate.)