Richard Curtis – the man who brought you Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually – has announced his plans to retire from directing.
After three Bafta wins and an Oscar nomination for his catalogue of loveable British romcoms, the 56-year-old has said “I waited a while in order to write [About Time]. This probably will be the last film I will direct.”
When asked why, Curtis told Empire magazine, “I don’t know. Just a feeling… just a feeling. It feels like a summing-up to me. We’ll see how things turn out.”
After writing screenplays for Four Weddings, Bridget Jones and Notting Hill, as well as Dawn French’s much-loved comedy The Vicar of Dibley, Curtis took his first turn in the directing chair for Love Actually.
“It took me a long time to be able to be wise or experienced enough to dare to direct,” he explained. “Many of the comedies I like the most, from Woody Allen’s films to Monty Python films, have been directed by the people who wrote them. So it was quite a logical thing, but I wasn’t ready to do it at that point. And when I reached that point, I was ready to do it.” But after subsequent directing credits for The Boat That Rocked and now About Time, it looks like Curtis is retiring from directing just as his career is getting started.
His directorial swansong, which stars Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Hollander, is a romcom/sci-fi mash-up following hapless Tim Lake who discovers that the men in his family can travel through time by standing in a dark room, closing their eyes and imagining where they want to end up…
Although his father informs him he can’t “kill Hitler or shag Helen of Troy, unfortunately”, Tim can change his own day-to-day gaffes and mishaps so he does what any 21-year-old would do and uses his powers to land himself a new girlfriend (McAdams).
Set between London and the stunning Cornish coastline, About Time opens in UK cinemas on 4 September 2013.
Watch the trailer below but beware of Bill Nighy’s strong language (tsk tsk):