About Time

Synopsis: At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time... The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim's father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can't change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place...by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he's never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again-and again-but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart. Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to g
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Director(s): Richard Curtis
Production: Universal Pictures
  3 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min

I always knew we

were a fairly odd family.

First there was me.

Too tall. Too skinny.

Too orange.

My mum was lovely,

but not like other mums.

There was

something solid about her.

Something rectangular,

busy and unsentimental.

Her fashion icon was the Queen.

Dad, well, he was more normal. He always

seemed to have time on his hands.

After giving up teaching university

students on his 50th birthday,

he was eternally available

for a leisurely chat or

to let me win at table tennis.


And then there was Mum's

brother, Uncle Desmond.

Always impeccably dressed. He

spent the days just, well,

being Uncle Desmond.

He was the most charming and least

clever man you could ever meet.

His mind was on other things,

though we never found out what.

And then,

finally there was Catherine.

Katie. Kit Kat. My sister.

In a household of sensible jackets

and haircuts there was this,

well, what can I call her,

nature thing.

With her elfin eyes, her purple

T-shirts and her eternally bare feet,

she was then,

and still is to me,

about the most wonderful

thing in the world.

All in all, it was a pretty good childhood.

Full of repeated rhythms and patterns.

By the time I was 21,

we were still

having tea on the beach

every single day.

Skimming stones and

eating sandwiches,

summer and winter,

no matter what the weather.

And every Friday evening,

a film,

no matter what the weather.

And then once a year, the

dreaded New Year's Eve party.

Yeah, I might just get one.

You're absolutely gorgeous.

I'm Katie. What am I drinking?

This is very expensive stuff.

Cheers. Cheers.

Come on, it's nearly midnight.

We're all going through.

We're going through.

Look, I've gotta find you a...


Everyone makes little mistakes.

It's fine. Come on.

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year.


And so I woke up

the next morning,

hung-over, ashamed of myself,

and not realising

it was the day

that would change

my life forever.

Get up, stupid.

Dad wants you.

Hello. Sexy pyjamas.

Tim, come in.


sit down.

That's very formal.

Well, um, yeah.

This is an odd moment for me

because I had

the same moment with my

father when I'd just

turned 21, and after it,

my life was never the same, so I

approach it pretty, um, nervously.


When you're ready.

It's all very mysterious.


Tim, my dear son, the...

The simple fact is

the men in this family

have always had

the ability to...

This is going to sound strange,

be prepared for strangeness.

Get ready for spooky time,

but there's this family secret.

And the secret is that

the men in the family can

travel in time.

Well, more accurately,

travel back in time.

We can't travel

into the future.

This is such a weird joke.

?t's seriously not a joke.

So you're saying that you and

granddad, and his brothers

could all travel back in time?


And you still do? Absolutely.

Although it's not as dramatic as it sounds.

It's only in my own life.

I can only go to places where I

actually was and can remember.

I can't kill Hitler or shag

Helen of Troy, unfortunately.

Okay, stop.


if it's true, which it isn't.

Although it is.

Although it isn't, obviously. But if

it was, which it's not. Which it is.

Which it isn't.

But if it was, how would I...

The ?'How?' is

the easy bit, in fact.

You go into a dark place,

big cupboards are

very useful generally.

Toilets, at a pinch.

Then you clench

your fists like this.

Think of the moment

you're going to

and you'll find yourself there.

After a bit of a stumble

and a rumble and a tumble.


Is as good a reaction as any.

I think I plumped for ?'f***!?'

but it was the '70s.

No, this is

so obviously a joke.

?t's not a joke.

Why would I lie to someone I'm

fairly fond of?


But, when I come

back downstairs

after standing in a cupboard

with my fists clenched,

you're gonna be

in so much trouble.


let's see, shall we?

And, Tim, try and

do something interesting.

So much trouble.

I mean it. Really.



You all right, Tim?

Yes. Yeah. Good, ace. Yeah.

Good, come on. it's nearly

midnight and we've got to find...

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Whoo! Midnight.

10, 9, 8, 7,

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Happy New Year!

Thank you, Tim.

You're welcome, Polly.

Does Mum know?

Not a whistle.

Strange. And what about the whole...

Butterfly effect thing. What can I say?

We don't seem to have

messed up civilisation yet.

?t's gonna be

a complicated year.

?t's gonna be

a complicated life.

What have you

done with it?

For me,

it's books, books, books.

I've read everything

a man could wish to.

Twice. Dickens three times.

Any first thoughts?

Well, I suppose apart from getting

a slightly better haircut... Yeah.

Money would be

the obvious thing.

Very mixed blessing.

Utterly screwed up

your grandfather's life.

Left him without

love or friends.

I've never bumped into a

genuinely happy rich person.

?t would be nice

not to have to work.

No, that's a real

recipe for disaster.

Look what happened to Uncle Fred.

What happened to Uncle Fred?

Absolutely sod all.

Wasted his life.

You have to use it for

things that you really think

will make your life

the way you want it to be.

Come on,

really think about this.


to be honest,

I suppose, at the moment,

it would be just great if it

could help me get a girlfriend.

Rate this script:3.5 / 11 votes

Richard Curtis

Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, CBE (born 8 November 1956) is a New Zealand-born English screenwriter, producer and film director. One of Britain's most successful comedy screenwriters, he is known primarily for romantic comedy films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually, as well as the hit sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley. He is also the co-founder of the British charity Comic Relief along with Lenny Henry. more…

All Richard Curtis scripts | Richard Curtis Scripts

2 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "About Time" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/about_time_2157>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    About Time

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.