But enough of the girl, let us talk about the guy.
Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan Gleeson, was absolutely charming in his awkwardness. (Was this guy seriously General Hux O.o) His first first date with McAdams happens in an eat-in-the-dark restaurant. To engineer his second first date, he pines at an art gallery to meet her. On his third first date, they escape a party together to chat at a cafe instead.
Tim: So, what do you do?
Mary: I’m a reader at a publisher.
Tim: No! You read for a living?
Mary: Yes. That’s it, I read.
Tim: Oh, that’s so great. It’s like someone asking, “What do you do for a living?” “Well, I breathe. I’m a breather. I get paid for breathing.” How did you get that job?
Mary: Okay, smart-ass, what do you do?
Tim: I am a lawyer. Sort of… Sort of.
Mary: That’s sexy.
Tim: Is it?
Mary: I mean, I think so. In a suit, in a court, saving people’s lives. Kinda sexy.
Tim: I guess it is. Although it’s not as sexy as reading. Sitting there in an office in a little chair reading. Ooh!
This is an introvert’s fairytale. (Or maybe it is a lawyer who has all the time in the world that is the fairy tale. (Really, who am I kidding?))
Bill Nighy, on the other hand, does not manage to quite make a loving carefree father. (Or maybe I just can’t un-see the Viktor in him.) That being said, on a re-watch, his short wedding speech really had the feels.
Everything in this film is gentle – from the everydayness of the script to the unassuming-ness of the acting to the beigeness of the Cornwall cinematography. Even the title’s double entendre is more subtle than satirical. So if the narrative does not quite tie up the time paradoxes, if there is little tension because the time-travelling has little consequences and limitations, we can be gentle too in our criticisms.