Time To Spare


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Time To Spare
"This is far more than a lighthearted romp."

Billed as a romantic comedy, Time To Spare is a film with a number of tricks up its sleeve. Viewers may find their expectations challenged, but its wit and warm heartedness should carry them along throughout.

Starting as if already halfway through, it takes a while to catch up with. Initially you might feel as if you've walked into a busy hairdressing salon and stumbled upon a cacophony of other people's gossip. Molly (Karina Smulders) has moved away from home to live with Teun (Teun Luijkx), leaving Maarten (Paul de Leeuw), the big brother who has looked after her since childhood, an empty nester. Teun seems crazy about her, but can he be trusted, what with his wandering eye? Maarten's best friend, Reina (Lineke Rijxman), has given him a dog called Doodle to keep him company, but he's also getting close to handsome young Arthur (Alwin Pulinckx), only Arthur is straight. Probably. Then there's Doodle's vet, Melvin (Christopher Parren), who has also avoided being hit by the ugly stick, and everything just keeps getting more complicated.

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That's before something bigger happens, and everybody's already complicated life is thrown into further disarray.

Surprisingly, underneath all this frantic activity is a layer of real emotion, with both actors and script capable of shifting gear to deliver something powerful, albeit subtly understated, when the time comes. And underneath that is something else - the point of it all. This is far more than a lighthearted romp - it's a story about families and how they come to grow, in all shapes and sizes, and what gives them their resilience and vitality, their importance in our lives. As rules are broken, new forms emerge, always with the same central component of love.

Inventive, thoughtful without being dull and heartbreaking without ever losing its sense of fun, this is a brave little film that doesn't quite live up to its ambitions but delivers something special nonetheless. Make time for it.

Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2012
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A fortysomething man is bereft when the little sister he has raised leaves home, but nothing ever turns out the way you expect.
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Director: Job Gosschalk

Writer: Job Gosschalk

Starring: Paul de Leeuw, Karina Smulders, Lineke Rijxman, Teun Luijkx, Alwin Pulinckx, Christopher Parren

Year: 2011

Runtime: 91 minutes

Country: The Netherlands


Glasgow 2012

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