Longtime MNB readers know that I'm an enormous fan of the holiday movie Love Actually, which came out 10 years ago. While it was not an enormous hit when first released, Love Actually has evolved into a cult classic, and it is the one movie that I make sure I watch at Christmastime. (Others watch It's A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Story. But what can I say? I'm a sucker for romantic comedies, London at Christmas and an eclectic cast of British actors and actresses.)

Richard Curtis, the writer/director behind Love Actually, is now out with a new movie that is almost as charming: About Time. And I loved it.

In part, I loved it because I'm also a sucker for time travel movies. About Time is about a young man, played by Domhnall Gleeson, who is informed by his father (portrayed by the incomparable Bill Nighy with his usual panache and unique line readings) that all the men in his family have been able to travel through time. In some comedies, this might've been an excuse for financial shenanigans or sophomoric behavior, but because About Time is a Richard Curtis movie, what Gleeson's character really wants is love, and to always be his best self. (Who among us does not want that?)

The girl he falls for is played by Rachel McAdams. (For some reason, she seems to have a thing for time travel movies, having already starred in The Time Traveler's Wife and Midnight in Paris.) And the ways in which the relationship evolves, as he moves back and forth through time, is utterly charming and when all is said and done, has less to do with time travel than one would think. Rather, it is about trying to do the right thing the first time. And I think one of the things that charmed me about it was that About Time seems utterly without cynicism … and that's rare in movies these days.

It also ends up that as much as About Time is a romance, it also is a kind of love story about a father and son. One of my sons (the one who moved to LA) saw About Time before I did, and sent me a text message, telling me that it made him cry. When I saw it, I sent him a two word text back: "Me, too."




I also have a book to recommend to you this week, one that is outside my usual line of country, but would, I think, make an excellent holiday gift.

"It's Never Too Late," by Dallas Clayton, is described as "a kid's book for adults," and it has something in common with the work of Dr. Seuss; Clayton is a children's author, but this book - while written with the pictures and whimsical short poetry familiar to kids - in many ways is about regret and taking advantage of the moment, about embracing challenge and opportunity.

"It's Never Too Late" is a lovely little book. Check it out.




I have a white wine to suggest … the 2012 Carlton Cellars Auxerrois, from Oregon … a white wine with which I was unfamiliar, but one that has some similarities to Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. It was excellent … terrific with pasta and seafood. (I'm on a Carlton Cellars tear lately … it is a small winery, but one of my favorites.)




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Slàinte!