I love England (you might have noticed) – the buildings and vistas, the old days and nowadays, the British sense of humor and the British sense of design, the way they use the words of our (sort of) shared common language with so much variety of accent, speed, and colorful expression. (And they write so well.)
Having devoured Downton Abbey in an undisciplined, delighted week (on DVD, a premium from the PBS station here), we then spent a dismal and dark time in crime drama land. I hadn’t realized how such watching affects my everyday outlook until watching “About Time” the other night.
Written and directed by Richard Curtis (who also made “Love Actually”), there is much familiar dithering of male and female leads, the charming and ever wonderful Bill Nighy, beautiful Cornwall scenery with stunning cliff top house, a so cheerful soundtrack. And London – lots and lots of London – a Tube station on the Bakerloo line surely painted anew to be such beautiful shades of green, the girl and boy pass through the station as the buskars play and sing “How Long will I love you.” Time passes and their relationship grows.
It’s a comedy, and it’s sad. The men in the hero’s family can time travel (suspend disbelief here), providing opportunity and complications – plot twists aplenty – romantic love, family love, fathers and sons. A functional, happy and loving, but not boring family.
It’s about how an ordinary life is happy or not – about not wasting the days we have, and posits that it’s not the big things or achievements mattering in the end, but the little everyday happenings we can really influence. Whether we smile or not, take joy or not, whether we value as the hero says at the end about his life, “my ordinary, extraordinary life.”
Happy Heart Day tomorrow – an ordinary, extraordinary day!