Somerset House's (SH) Film 4 season got off to a flying start last night (Thursday, 8 August). Over the years, they've always managed to snag at least one great new film to premier there, and 2013 is already proving to be no different. Despite my aspirations at being intellectual and highbrow, the truth is that one of my favourites was the premier of Knocked Up a few years ago, which had me laughing out loud in embarrassment as much as joy and today is still a very beloved film to me.
About Time - the new film by the lovely Richard Curtis, which if you believe the previews is also his last rom-com, EVER - had me feeling pretty much the same way. A story about an awkward young man who, on his 21st birthday, is told by his dad (the wonderful Bill Nighy) that he is able to travel through time. It's extremely funny, quite close to the bone in some places, a little bit cheesy, very sad in parts (once again, I blubbed, quite a lot) and generally just a great film, with a new take on a clever concept. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of watching it and have no doubt that it will become part of my film collection in the same way that Knocked Up has (whereas, I'm afraid, Notting Hill is more a watch-when-it's-on-telly kind of movie).
Getting settled into screenings at Somerset House is always a bit of a palaver, mainly due to the free-for-all on its cobbled courtyard floor where you sit and the long wait between the doors opening at 6pm and the film starting at 9pm-ish (rest assured - for an easy life and most comfort, get there as early as possible). But it's a beautiful setting, so definitely worth the hassle.
The great DJ definitely took the edge off things and any bickering between my neighbours died off immediately, when SH's lovely director came on stage and, to our surprise and delight, he introduced the wonderful Richard Curtis, who in turn introduced the cast (including Bill Nighy!) after giving the kind of speech that left you in no doubt of his natural comic talents. If that isn't a great way to start a movie, I don't know what is.
Overall, just a great night. Can't wait to see what happens this evening, at Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!